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Q&A: Stefi Rucci

PME interviews SAY Communications' joint MD and Director of Healthcare

Stefi Rucci

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Our dog Archie will get everyone out of bed, but past that, it is the latest project I am working on. If I go to bed with a problem I’m trying to solve, I often wake up with the solution!

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

On some level everything we work on, every campaign, has the potential to impact patients’ outcomes and people’s lives in a positive way, so it’s a real incentive to be the best you can be, and I think that this can be very rewarding both personally and professionally.

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

I think as an industry we have an enormous appetite and need for innovation in communications, and yet we probably
have the slowest uptake because of our attitude to risk and regulatory regimes. But we are making changes and taking steps, just not as fast as other industries.

What’s your favourite bar or eatery?

Cecconi's

Cecconi’s is my favourite restaurant, in Mayfair, near Saville St. You can sit at the bar for an aperitif or a glass of prosecco, or sit down for dinner.

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

Any acronyms, or expressions that we have probably borrowed from an American friend, but over here are completely meaningless... ‘Would you like a DC?’ and ‘Let’s circle back later’.

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

A movie I saw recently that I would recommend is Spotlight, which is about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the abuses of the church and the attempt to cover it up. It reminded me of the power for good of investigative journalism.

Spotlight

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

I am drawn to problem-solvers, lateral thinkers and innovators, from Einstein to Bill Gates, Al Ries and Jack Trout, Dyson and Richard Thaler, although I admire the many inspirational people who do great things every day, often without recognition.

Who’s your healthcare comms hero/heroine?

Melinda and Bill Gates, who use their fortune and fame to tackle poverty and the big health challenges of our time.

Bill Gates

What has been your career highlight to date?

There have been lots of amazing experiences and it continues to be really exciting. Winning awards for our work is a favourite and we have had a couple of real blockbuster years, but I have to say that taking the helm at SAY jointly with Louise and building SAY into an award-winning health and tech agency has been a defining point in my career.

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

Be curious and engaged, learn from others along the way, as in this career connecting the dots, understanding the issues and what is at play around us is tremendously important. If you understand the healthcare environment and its dynamics, everything else will fall into place and you’ll be a stronger communicator.

3rd February 2020

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