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The Communiqué Awards at 20: Stephen Whitehead

The former ABPI chief executive on what the awards mean to him

Stephen WhiteheadWhere were you when you won your Communiqué Awards, and where are you now?

I was Corporate Affairs Director for Eli Lilly Europe when I first won in 2000 and CEO of the ABPI in 2012 when I won second time around.

I am currently working in private equity in healthcare acquisition, investment and disposal in Sydney, Australia.

What has been the biggest change in healthcare communications during your time in the industry?

We are talking 20 years! So much has changed but I’d distil it to two core issues – the increase in regulation limiting what we as communicators can do and of course the advent of the internet and all that has opened up including social media and the accelerated speed of communication, this is really key in issue and crisis management.

What influence have these wins had on your career?

I think when you go in house from agency, as I did in 1990 from Burson-Marsteller to Glaxo, the fear is that you lose the creative edge and process and politics triumph. Winning these awards assured me that I still ‘had it’ as regards cutting edge communication campaigning.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

I’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible people throughout  my career in each sector I’ve worked in. I have I have a principle in life which is ‘work hard and be nice to people’ – my parents taught me that so they are the biggest influence.

What do the Communiqué Awards mean to you?

Recognition. We all work incredibly hard and it’s really important to step back and celebrate excellence.

This year the Communiqué Awards celebrate 20 years of recognising excellence in healthcare communications. To take part in the festivities, book your tickets and join us at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 6 July.

27th April 2017

From: Marketing

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