After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be hard to quantify the ways in which we have changed. Our pandemic coverage, of course, 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, PRovoke Media has launched a new series that asks people what they have learned, according to three specific areas. 

And who better to get us underway than Richard Edelman, CEO of the world's biggest PR firm. Edelman, of course, started the pandemic off with significant layoffs, yet has ended up in encouraging shape. Those are the headline figures, but what has Richard Edelman learned?

Three things I've learned...Richard Edelman, CEO Edelman

"I learned the importance of being in the office and at my desk once restrictions were lifted. I felt it was important that people saw me leading from the front. Walking to the office every day and seeing people learn how to deal with this new reality also made me sharper in my understanding of the issues of the lockdown, which allowed me to provide better counsel to clients."
"I realized that the country was more polarized than I had originally thought, best exemplified by how quickly people were passing along misinformation. That reinforced my belief in the necessity of our industry’s role as the gatekeepers of quality information. I felt it was our responsibility to ensure that reliable data and information were making their way to the masses through owned channels because media had become very polarized."
Personal: "The past two years was a big test. My mother-in-law passed away from Covid and the firm had a significant setback. I had to stand up and lead my family and our team into the wind. And there are moments where you wonder if you have what it takes. Through it all I learned a lot about myself and what leadership means. I also gained a new wingman in my dog Archie. I walk him first thing every morning and later at night, and it’s both a discipline and a joy."

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