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Q&A: Isabel Gibson

PME interviews W2O ISO's Managing Director

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

I can’t function until I’ve had my first (second/ third) cup of tea!

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

The impact that you have: it’s one of those special jobs where you can truly say you are making a difference to people. When you get that call or email from a doctor saying they are reconsidering how they manage their patients based on education you provided, you know you’re doing something worthwhile.

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

Sometimes you work with patients who have incredibly tough and tragic stories. It can be emotionally draining, but also really rewarding.

What’s your favourite bar or eatery?

There are so many! But I will always have a soft spot for the London Grind chain (Shoreditch Grind/Clerkenwell Grind, etc) as this is where I did so many of my team reviews back when we first started our agency.

Which buzzwords/office jargon get on your nerves?

Cross-pollinate is a new one. That and innovation – it’s used too much and it has lost its meaning.

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

Rosalind Franklin: her work on DNA was crucial, and while her contribution is little known compared to Crick and Watson, it’s so important to our understanding today.

Who is your healthcare comms hero/heroine?

It’s a bit rogue – but can I say Adam Kay? Strictly he doesn’t work in healthcare communications – but when I think about individuals who have made an impact, and helped others understand what goes on inside the healthcare space in an accessible and interesting manner, I think he’s done an amazing job.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Definitely setting up an agency with my colleagues Oliver Burnham and Suzanne Jacobs (pictured above). Having the opportunity to build something from scratch, and work to bring in and build so many talented individuals is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve done to date.

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

Give it at least nine months. The first few months in healthcare comms can be confusing and overwhelming, and it takes time to get your feet under the table. Don’t rush – it’s worth the wait!

Isabel Gibson is Managing Partner at W2O ISO

25th September 2020

From: Marketing

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