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Q&A: Jenny Squibbs The best and worst things about working in healthcare comms

Gemma Jones interviews 90TEN's senior account director

Jenny Squibbs

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Other than a tasty breakfast, the thing that really gets me started for the day is exercising first thing. Whether it’s a morning date with Joe Wicks in my living room or a run outside, it helps me focus my mind and feel like I’ve achieved something early on.

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

That’s an easy question. The best thing about working in healthcare comms is meeting the patients. There have been a few times that I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with patients who have benefitted from the drugs our clients develop. It’s an honour to meet them and hear their stories, and that is so rewarding. It makes the job worthwhile.

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

When the team and I get really passionate about a project, and we put 110% into it, but then the client doesn’t say thank you for the hard work. Healthcare comms is such a fast-paced environment, but sometimes a little thank you goes a long way.

What buzzwords/office-jargon/concepts get on your nerves?

‘Blue-sky thinking’. There are lots of marketing jargon circulating the industry but when I hear ‘blue-sky thinking’ or ‘can you come up with some blue-sky ideas’ it just grates on me.

What’s your favourite bar or eatery?

Padstow

This changes from week to week but at the moment it’s a lovely little place called Prawn On The Lawn. They’ve got a restaurant in London but my favourite is tucked away down in Padstow, Cornwall. It’s a tiny place with a fishmonger and an open kitchen – and they make the most delicious seafood tapas.

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

Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It makes you think differently about the importance of sleep and how much you prioritise it in your life. When you think about the fact that every species on this planet needs to sleep in some way and we haven’t evolved out of that biological requirement, then it shows how important it is to so many different aspects of our performance and well being.

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

I’m inspired by all sorts of people – from the fitness bloggers I follow on Instagram, to my friends and family riding the highs and lows of life – it’s hard to pick just one. However my Dad is someone I admire more and more everyday. As a successful leader in business, I look up to him for all sorts of advice in my life.

Who’s your healthcare comms hero/heroine?

An old client of mine. At the most stressful of times she remains cool, calm and collected. She treats everyone with such high respect and that makes you want to go above and beyond for her. And on top of all that, she’s incredibly talented – and reminds me so much of Davina McCall!

What has been your career highlight to date?

USA

I went to the US to visit patients living with kidney cancer. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit with these patients and hear their stories of what it was like to live with incurable kidney cancer. I then had the honour of telling those stories through the medium of film. Just listening to how the treatment gave those patients an extra few months to live and then pulling it all together creatively into a video was a truly humbling experience.

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

This is a piece of advice that a former manager gave me – she said always try to be like a swan – your feet might be paddling furiously under water, but on the surface you remain composed, elegant and in control. As you become more senior in any career it becomes more important to be able to illuminate that calmness and spread it among your peers. At the same time though, never be afraid to ask for help.

Jenny Squibbs is a senior account director at healthcare communications consultancy 90TEN. She was named Young Achiever at this year’s Communiqué Awards.

19th September 2018

From: Marketing

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90TEN is an award-winning healthcare communications consultancy that puts people at the heart of everything we do. Our Life.Changing. campaigns...

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