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 Therese Caruso, Zeno Group managing director and global head of strategy + planning, who reflects on deeper connections, authenticity and being inspired by young people.

Three things I've learned... 


The most critical thing I’ve learned from the past two years is the importance of making deeper connections with the people we work with. The pandemic has shown us that we can work from anywhere and be effective and productive. But it has affected our ability to deeply engage with each other. People need to feel a sense of belonging again – to laugh together in the conference room when we’re struggling to crack a brief, to come together to celebrate the wins and turn the loses into new opportunities, to meet a new colleague over coffee instead of a computer screen. Zeno’s research in this area reveals that people want to work for companies that allow them to be more purposeful and how vitally important it is for the future success of brands to solve the greatest challenges of today. Perhaps one of the greatest gifts I received from the pandemic was time and the opportunity to reconnect with my daughters and with nature. Now I get to take everything I’ve learned from this extraordinary time and march ambitiously forward.   


Within the halls of every business, we must be more aware of society and culture, we need to understand more deeply what makes people behave the way they do -— their hopes and fears, the new values we live by now versus just two years ago, the new expectations of the brands people decide to join. Amid the chaos, people have garnered a greater sense of self and are more educated about their health and have developed a new relationship with the world around them. This means that companies and brands need to be more aware of the audiences they serve and more authentic in the way they present themselves. There is more risk involved in doing it wrong, but alternatively, more reward for doing it right.


There has never been a more challenging, and yet, exceptional time. I’m profoundly inspired by the young people who are using this time as an opportunity to let go of the past and move cautiously, yet hopefully into the future. Research shows us that people desperately want to use this time to look ahead. In fact, Google research in 2020 revealed that “how to change the world” was searched twice as much as “how to go back to normal” and “how to start a business” more than “how to get a job.” I’ve learned to celebrate every day because we don’t know what new challenges are coming tomorrow. I’ve learned that the beauty in all this chaos is that we have emerged more empathetic, more compassionate and more ambitious. I am deeply moved by the actions taken by my workplace over these past two years. It has shown me what kindness and a genuinely caring and inspired environment can produce – a global workforce driven to push positive change forward for ourselves and for the people we serve.

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