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Q&A: Chris McPherson

PME interviews ENGINE | MHP's account director, health

Chris McPherson

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

A combination of genuinely loving what I do and the constant worry that I might need to pay for my own breakfast. It’s free at the office if you get in early enough.

What’s the best thing about working in healthcare comms?

I am incredibly fortunate that my role encompasses both ever-changing, high-level international projects and a chance to work with some of the best problem-solvers in the business. Every day I get a real kick out of debating ideas with them and finding new ways to deliver what we all thought probably wasn’t going to be possible.

What’s the worst thing about working in healthcare comms?

Burnout. Since entering the industry I have always found there to be a real intensity to the work that we do and in recent years that has really kicked-up a gear.

What’s your favourite bar or eatery?

The Yorkshire Grey in Fitzrovia, London. Before our office relocated to its current location, we used to be able to use the handily-located fire escape and stroll straight into the pub on a Friday afternoon.

Yorkshire Grey

Which book/film would you recommend above all others and why?

I believe Mark Britnell’s superb ‘In Search of the Perfect Health System’ is essential reading for those who want to have any chance of understanding how and why health systems differ and the major trends shaping their futures.

book

Which buzzwords/office jargon get on your nerves?

All of them. In particular, the phrase: “I don’t disagree, but...”

Which person, living or dead, do you admire the most and why?

Former US President Barack Obama is one person who I greatly admire for his ability to live up to his own promise and ideals. In an era of fake news, he proves that there is still a market for ‘realness’.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Last year I was fortunate enough to lead the agency team supporting two really interesting government affairs initiatives in Southeast Asia.

I learnt an incredible amount about how different healthcare systems deliver care and evolve, while also understanding how often motivations are common between markets.

What’s your golden rule/piece of advice for someone starting a career in healthcare comms?

Look around you and listen to everyone. Work out which people have the most challenging, disruptive and ambitious opinions, who won’t just congratulate you but instead will tell you things can be done bigger, bolder and with greater impact.

20th September 2019

From: Marketing

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