PRovoke Media 16 Sep 2022 // 12:39PM 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 installment in our series, we hear from Finn Partners global health practice lead Fern Lazar, who sold her own healthcare shop, Lazar Partners, to Finn shortly before the start of the pandemic.
Three things I've learned...
Just after Lazar Partners joined Finn, the world shifted into Covid quarantine. I worried about what would happen to our team: my “extended” community. I was taught to live my life with integrity every day especially during tumultuous times and my new firm steadfastly upheld its values to make the world a better place and treat others respectfully: everyone kept their jobs; resources were offered to help employees cope with Covid separation. They took care of the structural support, but I realized I was responsible for the emotional connectivity. I resolved to be a community builder: cementing out team’s daily cohesion through optimism and hope constantly looking for new ways to unite our team. Through our communities we can create, collaborate, and celebrate. I will apply this learning in our new hybrid work world as fostering communities is more important than ever.
Don’t rely on innovation alone to resolve world problems. People are naturally curious and skeptics. Covid created information vacuums and service-delivery bottlenecks throughout the health ecosystem. Government health policy experts stumbled again and again to rally people to action. Suddenly my role as a health communicator was central. We can never lower the bar on accuracy, timeliness and ensuring we engage consumers as partners. Whether talking about the newest tech gadget or a life-saving therapy we are here to serve society through informative communications that ease concerns and put perceived risks into perspective. As we hopefully emerge from Covid, my takeaway is that we as communicators must champion accurate and timely facts to propel humanity forward.
I’ve been in the health communications trenches for some time. I have always loved this work. It brings meaning to my life. It brings purpose to my colleagues. Throughout the Covid experience, I asked the essential question – “Why?” “Why are we doing this?” “How does this impact people’s lives?” The swirl of Covid – disparities in access to care, racial inequities, and constant tempo of workflow – reminded me that empathy matters and guides actions! My appreciation for everyone’s efforts – and troubles – made me a better a better person, a stronger leader. Compassion and empathy are the glue that unites and strengthens us.
If you'd like to share your three lessons, please let us know.