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 David Gallagher, former Omnicom international president and Ketchum Europe CEO, who left the holding company after 26 years to start his own independent advisory this year. 

Three things I've learned... 

I learned there is life beyond big agencies and bigger holding companies. And while life at both was pretty good, there’s a vibrancy in the wider ecosystem – of agencies of all kinds, the supply chain of talent and technology, the academic community, start-ups, investors and so many others – that’s impossible to ignore.  No regrets, but I wished I had climbed over the wall earlier.  

The great schism in PR has in my mind not been between networks vs indies, in-house vs consultants, or big vs small, but philosophical: management discipline vs marketing tool. I think the past two years have widened that separation even further. 

The past two years brought more loss to my family than I could have imagined, but also all kinds of unexpected moments of kindness, small moments of joy, new friendships and a reminder that it’s not what happens that counts, but how we help each other respond. 

If you'd like to share your three lessons, please let us know.