Makovsky president Cathy Fink talks about the challenges of assuming a leadership role at a legacy PR brand on the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview with Doug Simon.

As someone with a long history at healthcare-focused firms, Fink says that coming to Makovsky gave her the opportunity to “diversify and really learn from some of the great talent that's at the firm.”

But she also says that her experience at a major publicly held firm proved beneficial as she moved to a smaller, independent agency. “I think one of the most interesting things has been the financial discipline that comes from having been part of a publicly traded agency and really looking at things, having to make some tough decisions, but really looking at the way the business is run and thinking about what is the most efficient and the most cost effective way to run the business.”

In addition, her background in healthcare helped her negotiate the hurdles of coming to a new firm during COVID. One big thing her healthcare experience taught her was “the importance of internal communications and having your values internally really align with your values externally.”

Fink tells Simon that “your customers and your employees both really need to have an understanding of what you stand for” no matter what vertical you’re working in. “That has become even more clear under the glare of COVID.”

With the role of communicators rapidly evolving, Fink outlines some of the key things that leaders and communicators need to be doing differently to be successful in this current environment.

The need for transparency is pivotal. “Increased transparency is just something that is being demanded of people,” she says. One place where that’s especially important is when supply chain issues cause problems for consumers and companies. “The challenges when the supply chain isn't working have been something that we've all experienced. So, we need to have greater transparency there.”

Fink also talks about how the rise of data doesn’t eliminate the need for knowing when to follow your gut. “We're all pretty sophisticated consumers of information, there's so much information coming at us all the time. And so, you just really have to pay attention to how you react to something. And probably at the end of the day, you're right, your gut is telling you the right thing.”

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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.