PRovoke Media 30 Sep 2022 // 11:00AM GMT
After more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be hard to quantify the ways in which we have changed. Our pandemic coverage helps us understand the industry impact, and it seems unlikely that any of our content has been untouched by the unique circumstances that have taken root since the start of 2020.
But so much of that change has occurred at a human level, where many of the lessons emerge from the various conversations and anecdotes that underpin our stories and events. To better showcase these learnings, and provide a measure of insight into how the global PR industry is responding to such a transformative era, this series asks people what they have learned, according to three specific areas.
In the latest instalment in our series, we hear from Corinna Field, the joint managing director of Red Lion PR, which was set up in London with backing from Hope&Glory just before the pandemic started.
Three things I've learned...
Building a culture is not as organic as it was pre-pandemic – there needs to be a degree of cultivation. The shift to first virtual and now hybrid has lessened the time for ‘casual collisions’ with peers, those conversations shouted across the desks, the ‘just one drink’ sessions at the office local. Now for us it means taking time to carve out those moments when we’ll all be together – making sure they remain consistent and straddle work and play. It’s not just about the learning opportunities afforded in real life, it’s about the sense of belonging, the team getting to know one another as people. Face time is essential for that.
When the crisis hit, marketing departments were left scrambling as big-budget TV campaigns were pulled but comms teams showed they could respond rapidly. We’ve certainly benefited from that by being more involved at the ‘top table’. With this comes a greater inclination from clients to provide us with the information we need to measure adeptly – because it’s more important than ever that we show commercial value. Pre-pandemic, often we were pushing clients to consider a more sophisticated approach to measurement. Now they are better educated in the potential of PR, they’re more open to us demonstrating it in a nuanced way that goes well beyond the surface-level coverage output of old.
Caring for our own mental wellbeing needs to stay firmly on the to-do list as the pandemic becomes a (hopefully) distant memory. As the mother of a seven-month-old when Covid hit, juggling the co-running of an agency with motherhood in lockdown wasn’t easy. Like many others, respite time for myself was few and far between, there simply weren’t the hours in the day. It took coming out the other side of that for me to realise the impact it can have. Now I know that taking time to decompress isn’t just enjoyable, it’s essential. The same applies to each and every one of the team, no matter what their circumstances.
If you'd like to share your three lessons, please let us know.