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 Dina Mostovaya, founder of Madrid-based consulting firm Mindset Consulting, who works with technology companies and start-ups in the US and across Europe, including Microsoft, PayPal and eBay.

Three things I've learned... 

Before quarantine, I thought I was going to set a world record for the number of meetings – I would hold five or six 30-40 minute meetings, trying to talk only to the point without wasting time. During isolation, my focus shifted to the depth of relationships. Now, I devote more time to informal communication to better understand how the other person thinks and feels. I have implemented that practice in my agency too, and as a result many of our clients and partners have become more than just work acquaintances, they’re now friends. I've also changed my approach with the team and clients from consulting to coaching: I stopped telling people how to act and instead help them find the best solution.

The pandemic has shown that we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket. I learned that diversification in all areas, including PR, is crucial. Today, a strong PR professional understands not only communications but the client’s industry. Our sector expertise is essential, but we shouldn’t focus exclusively on media relations. We work with tech start-ups and VC funds, so we dedicate ourselves to being lifelong students of the tech market as a whole. It allows us to stay fresh and relevant and ensure our clients remain one step ahead in an ever-changing world.

Two years of the pandemic have made it clear to me that mental health is more important than career, work and ambition. I'm a crazy workaholic. During the quarantine, I could sit at my laptop continuously for 12 hours without taking a lunch break. Eventually, I felt a loss of strength, and I couldn’t maintain concentration. Later, as my therapist and I were discussing different aspects of my life, hoping to find the reason, she asked if I took breaks from work. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and in that moment, I understood just how important it is to block off rest time in my schedule, no matter how busy I am.

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