When I ask entry-level job candidates why they’re interested in healthcare PR, they always say something like, “I feel like it would be more meaningful than other areas,” or “I love science, and/or I want to help people.” Sometimes something deeper underlies these responses, and sometimes people just go into this niche area because it may be a quick route to a job.
I have given this question a lot of thought for myself lately in moments of introspection. More specifically, I’ve asked myself why I want to have my own consultancy, and why I especially want to help early stage life sciences-oriented companies succeed?
The answer comes down to this. I want my kids to live well-informed and healthy lives. My mother died over 30 years ago, when I was 15. My father died when I was 30. Both had underlying cardiovascular issues, but the reasons for their untimely deaths were largely due to a lack of knowledge about their conditions. My mother in particular was skeptical of doctors, so she avoided physicals of any kind, made some poor lifestyle choices, and was genetically prone to hypertension. She was therefore a walking time bomb. However, the evidence would have been in front of her face if she knew then what we now know about cardiovascular disease, whether she saw a doctor or not, and could have therefore been more assertive in pursuing preventative care.
Even with all of the medical and scientific progress made in the past few decades, there is still a long way to go in the prevention, treatment and cure of most diseases, and providing people access to understandable medical information that enable them to make well-informed decisions. Many of the companies I work with have the ability to change this. They are brilliantly combining science and technology to unlock information and create knowledge that will forever alter human healthcare. They are doing all of this in a number of ways, such as inventing ways to track and manage human health without altering peoples’ daily lives; identifying biomarkers that will enable true personalized medicine; using AI to enable more precise and accurate clinical trials, and much more.
But these companies ride on a challenging and sometimes long road to success, and I – along with my amazing team – work hard to apply all the skills I can offer to help them get there. They know exactly what they have to offer, but may have difficulty getting investors, customers or potential partners excited about their potential. I can more objectively tell their story and articulate their value to the right people at the right time. PR/communications is not always high on a founder’s priority list, but boy can the right approach make a difference. Seeing this potential ignites a spark of passion and purpose that helps our clients succeed. We live and breathe the businesses of clients who get the importance of a solid PR strategy.
So yes, I care. I care if my clients’ businesses succeed or fail because my kids’ futures depend on it. I think this is a pretty good reason to do what I do.