Kristin Cahill, who is taking the reins as CEO of GCI Health in January, talks with Doug Simon about how things have changed in the pharmaceutical industry in 2020—and about what healthcare communicators should expect in 2021—in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

According to Cahill, pharma’s reputation has risen in the wake of COVID-19, with 40 percent of consumers viewing the industry more favorably since the beginning of the pandemic.

She says that rise in reputation creates an “incredible opportunity for our clients and 0ur colleagues to show up differently,” allowing them “to capitalize on the fact that people are looking to the healthcare industry for science and solutions.”

Cahill outlines a couple of ways in which communicators can make that opportunity work for them. One of those is to “make sure that you’re putting scientific solutions front and center.”

Another is for companies to “put different types of ambassadors and champions to work for companies.” For example, she says they should “think about putting forward everyday researchers and people who are in the thick of it, working every day.”

She also stresses the importance of listening, and of bringing diverse opinions into the organization. “It’s important that we’re looking at people as individuals,” she tells Simon, “really taking into account the full gamut of perspectives that are out there.”

With the workplace turning ever more virtual, Cahill says the process of onboarding clients is also going through changes. She says that such events as virtual happy hours can ease the process of really getting to know the people you’re working with—even when they’re not in the room with you.

But if there’s one secret to success in this brave new world, she says that it’s to stay inspired. “Wake up every day to find a source of inspiration, whether that be an amazing patient story or a healthcare provider on the front line.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.