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Q&A: Kate Callan

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My four-year-old is notorious for climbing into bed for morning snuggles as soon as the sun rises. If I managed to sleep through the kids, then coffee.

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

I’ve always been passionate about creating programmes that connect with and support patients. In social media, we get to see comments and messages from patients who truly appreciate the channels we create for our clients and there is no better feeling.

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

Working in a regulated industry can be challenging from a social media perspective. Pharma isn’t necessarily known for being an early adopter so while it often takes more time to execute, it’s also rewarding to find ways to remain creative while also compliant with healthcare regulations.

What’s your favourite bar or eatery?

Bar Lucca in Conshohocken, PA is my go-to. We can still get kerbside pickup with COVID-19 restrictions and it always feels like a nice little indulgence.

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

Where the Crawdads Sing is one of my recent favorites. It is a beautifully written story that brings you into the mind of the main character and has lots of twists and turns that make it hard to put down. A great summer read!

Which buzzwords/office jargon get on your nerves?

Gotta love office jargon! My biggest pet peeve is when a meeting ends early and the host says they are giving us ‘five minutes back’.

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

I really admire Brene Brown and how she’s able to distil really complex human experiences in a way we can all relate to.

Who is your healthcare comms hero/heroine?

I really love how Selma Blair has been sharing her experience with multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s heartbreaking at times but her bravery in sharing the unfiltered experience has been incredible for MS awareness.

What has been your career highlight to date?

A big highlight for me was a patient education programme called Joint Decisions. It was a combination of a great team and clients, and getting to collaborate closely with really amazing patient advocates living with rheumatoid arthritis. Working on that programme ultimately led me to shift focus to building our social media and influencer practice at our agency.

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

Stay curious and never stop learning. To be successful in healthcare comms and social media, we have to continually evolve our approach to meet the needs of our audiences. Whether it’s learning about a new disease area or digital platform, the desire to always learn and grow is so important to success.

Kate Callan is Executive Vice President (EVP), Head of Social Media at Evoke KYNE


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