PharmaTimes talks to some of pharma and healthcare’s most promising young leaders, already making waves in their companies and brightening the future

Fliss Barber, Havas Lynx Group, Account Director

What is your background, and what does your current role involve?

Following an Advertising degree at Lancaster University, I joined the Havas Lynx Group graduate scheme in 2015. I was placed into the newly formed Havas Life Manchester team. Joining as one of just four accounts team members at the time helped me to hit the ground running and take on more and more responsibility as the team grew around us. As an Account Director today, I lead one of the key accounts within Havas Life Manchester alongside a brilliant team of people, notably those running the account with me.

Which career successes are you most proud of?

I was incredibly lucky to lead an account focussed on turning the tide on stigma in HIV. As an agency we’ve created some amazing work for this client, including a Cannes Lions award-winning campaign that I am exceptionally proud of. The stand out moment for me personally, however, was receiving the below message from an HIV-positive friend after spending a weekend in central Manchester outside our 12-foot high installation, educating the general public on what HIV means today: ‘I know what you’ve done will have changed hearts and minds, and my life will be better because of that. Thank you.’

What do you intend to achieve in your role at Havas Lynx Group?

Working alongside the leadership team, I am proud of the role I’ve been able to play in the success of Havas Life Manchester since 2015. I aim to continue to play a key role in helping to grow this team commercially and deliver great work for our clients. On a personal level, I don’t believe you’re ever finished learning new skills or soaking up the experience of the team around you. Havas Lynx Group is filled with talented people whether creative, science, strategy, or accounts. I intend to continue to work alongside them to deliver stand out work that makes a difference.

How do you see healthcare communications changing in the next decade?

The COVID-19 world we’re currently living in has forced a change on the healthcare industry that it has been tiptoeing around for some time: the shift to virtual or remote care. This has created a move from traditional channels such as physical conferences and sales force visits to more targeted online communications. I expect, and hope, that this will have lasting change in the way our clients operate and communicate to physicians. From a patient perspective also, I expect an increase in virtual check-ups and reliance on integrated care and smart device technology to monitor patient wellness digitally.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

I find this question incredibly hard to answer as I’d have needed a much better imagination to dream of the pace, variety, and outcome of the last five years and beginning of my career. I’ve no doubt this remains the right career path and industry for me and I aim to continue to grow and build up the team working alongside me. I hope that the next ten years continues to hold opportunities to fight stigma and change outcomes for the better within healthcare, and that I can continue to play some small part in this.