After 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 Bashar AlKadhi, Hill+Knowlton Strategies CEO for the Middle East, Turkey, India, Africa (METIA), Continental Europe and the Nordics.

Three things I've learned... 

I took on a larger remit during the pandemic, overseeing Continental Europe and the Nordics, in addition to the METIA role. Any initial apprehension was quickly allayed when it became clear that all markets have much more in common than they have differences. They faced the same challenges, from helping clients through a really challenging time, to getting the teams to shine despite the pressure. From now on, if anyone says "that’s not how things are done here", I can respond, with a good deal of confidence, that best practices have no borders

We’ve been banging the drum that communications must be fully integrated with business strategy for years now – but it took a global pandemic to really throw that into sharp focus, and it became even clearer that without strong internal and external communications functionality, organisations were at a serious disadvantage to those that began that journey earlier. From positioning to reputation management and instilling corporate cultures, I believe our discipline cemented its place in the C-suite, and I only see that role strengthening in the future.

It’s going to sound clichéd, but the pandemic brought home the importance of simple pleasures, from spending quality time with friends and family to enjoying a better home-cooked meal. I also think, pre-pandemic, we probably travelled way, way too much, for work and for vacations. Having said that, travel is now something I really look forward to. So, the pandemic has taught me not to take anything for granted, and to concentrate on quality of experiences, not quantity.

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