CVS chief communications officer Kym White talks with Doug Simon about the challenges of meeting all the messaging needs of a large, multi-faceted healthcare company in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video.
As a company involved in insurance (Aetna), retail and pharmacy outlets, and health benefits management (Caremark), CVS interacts with consumers at many points across the healthcare journey. And while White says that each of those divisions at times needs to be handled “as though they are separate businesses,” she also stresses that the company’s goal is to “integrate these businesses and to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible.”
For example, while she notes that there is “a lot of brand love” for CVS pharmacies, that love often doesn’t transfer over to health insurance providers. So for Aetna, her goal is to humanize the brand for its members. For Caremark, the aim is to familiarize consumers with its services, and to help them understand how it can reduce the cost of drugs.
White’s work with CVS dates back to her days at Edelman, where she led the agency’s CVS health business and played a central role in the company’s announcement of its decision to stop selling cigarettes. She says that the company’s choice “left an indelible impression because what it demonstrated then and now is that when CVS wants to use its force for good, when it really wants to leverage its footprints, it can make a big, big difference.”
And COVID, of course, has significantly impacted the complexity—and the location—of White’s job. “It’s changed our working world,” she tells Simon. “I have been working from my dining room table since I started with the company in late April.”
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