In case you missed it, earlier PRWeek announced the appointment of the healthcare communications veterans Lucie Harper and Kate Hawker as Global Practice Leaders of W2O. While we already have a lot of smart, experienced healthcare leaders at the firm, we need more as we continue to experience double digit growth at the firm. It is for this reason that we are so happy to welcome Lucie and Kate given their outstanding track record as healthcare marketing and communications professionals. Even more exciting is the fact that Lucie and Kate will be bolstering our already amazing UK team bringing the number of W2O-ers in our London office closer to 100 people.
When we welcome leaders like Kate and Lucie to W2O, we normally like to complement the press release we put out with a less formal blog interview. Being the good sports that they are, Lucie and Katie kindly agreed to discuss their journey into healthcare, what excites them about W2O, plus they share facts that no one knows about them. Here we go!
Aaron: Lucie/Kate, first of all, welcome. We are thrilled to have you both here. Let’s start at the beginning. Can you both share with us what initially piqued your interests in healthcare communications?
Lucie: As we all know, healthcare is universal concern and as such, it’s relevant to everyone all over the world, it affects what we do and how we think. I love working an industry that has that importance so that’s why I’m here today.
Kate: I was fortunate enough to start my career by working on a game-changing UK campaign to destigmatize epilepsy. It was an amazing journey and ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
Aaron: This is a powerful statistic — collectively, you have over 55 years of experience in the industry. How will your expertise in the practice help foster W2O’s position as a leader in the space?
Lucie: The pace of change has been so enormous over the past 25 years and this will continue to accelerate. With this dramatic rate of change, I’d like to think my experience helps provide context as I look at what’s coming next and try to stay one step ahead of the competition. It’s also critical to share these same insights with members of the team that have less experience.
Kate: My past experience at other agencies gives me a good perspective on the different approaches to integrated marketing and communications in the healthcare space. To that end, I’ve also spent a lot of time learning from what works well and what doesn’t in terms of culture, client work, business development and employer branding. I also plan to bring the network I’ve amassed during my time in the industry to W2O, in terms of talent and contacts.
Aaron: What about your experiences in the healthcare industry have surprised you the most throughout your careers?
Lucie: The pace of change, it’s incredibly rapid. And now with the impact of tech-enabled health from companies like Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce and others, the pace of change is increasing incrementally.
Kate: I would have to say clients. You can never assume anything and it’s critical that you pay attention to detail. Clients are the lifeblood of an agency (or any business for that matter) and I’ve learned that you can never take your eye off the ball.
Aaron: what about W2O most piqued your interest before joining?
Lucie: I always felt that W2O was a very smart agency. Having the ability to work with smart people who I respect is one of the most important things to me. After spending my first week here, my expectations have all been met and then some.
Kate: Two words: relevance and analytics. W2O is a world class leader in both of these categories.
Aaron: You both will be working with Annalise Coady along with an awesome group of rock stars in London. What are you most looking forward to?
Lucie: Doing creative and ground-breaking work, that ultimately leads to us making a real difference for our clients. I know that W2O is already doing this so I should feel right at home in this regard.
Kate: I’m looking forward to getting to pitch with them because I know they are amazing. I’m also excited about working with the analytics and social teams, what they bring to table is so impressive for our clients.
Aaron: What is one thing about you that people don’t know?
Lucie: I am rather good at accents.
Kate: I can recite Anglo Saxon poetry.
Aaron: Final fun question… you are stranded on a deserted island and can only take one album with you. Which would it be?
Lucie: Probably the 2019 Grammy Nominees Album.
Kate: Paul Simon’s Graceland.
Thank you Lucie and Kate for taking the time to answer these questions. I look forward to meeting you both and maybe you will indulge me in some Anglo Saxon poetry reading and a funny accent or two. Great choices on the albums by the way! But you knew that already. Welcome to W2O!
Want to chat? Drop us a line.