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Q&A - Patricia Barnfather, Barnfather Communications

Where are they now? Communiqué Awards Young Achiever winner 2000

Patricia Barnfather, Communique Awards YA 2000 

Continuing our series of Q&As with past winners of the Communiqué Young Achiever of the Year Award, this week we've tracked down Patricia Barnfather, our winner of 2000.

1. What first attracted you to healthcare comms?

Upon discovering that going to the doctor was free in the UK! A stark contract from my birthplace where my mother waited for all three kids to be sick before she ever took us. At Stirling University, I did my dissertation on the complexities of communicating within the NHS.

After 18+ years, I remain fascinated by healthcare and the emotional engagement it stirs within all of us.

2. Where were you in your career when you won the Communiqué Young Achiever's award?

I was working as an account manager at Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare.

3. What did winning mean to you and your career?

It gave me the confidence - and network - to go from an agency role to an in-house position within Eli Lilly and Company.

4. How has your career developed since then?

I spent over ten years at Lilly working in a variety of UK, European and Global communication and marketing roles. I left Lilly last year to set up my own business, Barnfather Communications. I work in collaboration with Lisa Betti (Smarteez Ltd) to provide flexible in-house or agency support for clients.

5. And what is the most important lesson you have learnt during this time?

If you work hard - and are generally pleasant to work with - you are very likely to succeed.

6. What is your current role?

I am working for AstraZeneca covering maternity leave in their global corporate communications team.

7. Describe its most challenging aspects.

As a contractor, you get to do the doing but not always the thinking - that can be frustrating.

8. And its most rewarding aspect.

As a contractor, you get to do the doing....

9. What has been the most significant change to the industry since you began in it?

Social media - I don't think it has impacted healthcare that much yet but it will.

10. Name one piece of advice you would give to some one starting their career in healthcare comms.

Work hard and be nice to everyone. Healthcare is a very small world.


16th July 2012

From: Marketing

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