Rachael Mcloughlin, Havas Lynx Group, Head of Digital, H4B Manchester

Where have you made the most impact in your role?

It’s amazing to work with clients and teams to look at ways to add value that goes beyond traditional communications, to find opportunities to build innovative digital products that address a real audience need, understand a target and solve a real-world problem. It’s a privilege to work with teams to build innovative digital solutions that go beyond ‘what we want to say’ and start to get into the territory of helpful change that, as a happy by-product, meets a business objective. With a background in agile product development and consumer tech, I’ve been in a position to help to apply these principals to healthcare, pushing in terms of what we can do digitally for our clients in new and interesting ways.

To what do you attribute your professional success?

The journey I’ve taken to get to the role I’m in today has been far from traditional! I’ve always pursued what I’ve been passionate about, and roles that allow me to learn and grow. This has not only allowed me to develop a broad skill set across different, interesting industry areas, but also means that I’ve been in the fortunate position of enjoying going to work every day throughout my career (whether I was running a pub in Wembley, working with a multinational bank embedding agile development principals, or building one of the first ‘beyond the pill’ digital solutions in healthcare). Enjoying the work that you do means you’re willing to push yourself and continually explore, grow and develop, and learn new things every day, and that’s one of the things that drew me to digital and tech – it’s an area that keeps you on your toes, as there’s always new developments to consider and things to learn.

How do you feed enthusiasm and drive progress?

It’s all about a problem-focused approach – people naturally silo technology off and see it as a specialist area, when fundamentally, that shiny tech is really the vehicle to solve one problem or another. When you align a team behind a problem they believe in, progress comes naturally, and you’ll find people are happy to support you in breaking down barriers and organisational roadblocks to achieve a common goal. It’s hard to get people excited about technology, but the application of it to solve a human problem is really easy to get excited about!

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt?

To be truly successful, collaboration requires effective communication, diverse voices with equal opportunity to contribute, a safe space to share, and a great deal of empathy.

What is your vision for the future of healthcare communications?

The pandemic has highlighted the vast healthcare inequalities experienced by large swathes of the population, and I hope we can all work to better leverage the technology we have at our disposal to build a more inclusive healthcare system for all that can mitigate this – breaking down barriers and bringing quality, credible healthcare information, and education to whoever who needs it, when they need it, regardless of race, age, gender or socioeconomic background.