Catherine Brassington-Richards, Havas Lynx Group, Chief Growth Officer

What inspires you to work in healthcare communications?

I absolutely love the opportunity it presents for me to work at the intersection of science and creativity. I originally studied neuroscience but soon realised lab work wasn’t really for me and I wanted to do something which allowed me to engage with my creative side. Working at Havas Lynx Group has given me the opportunity to work with amazing scientists, strategists, and creatives, and together we’ve created some unbelievable work and had a great time doing it!

Which successes are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the work I did setting up and growing H4B Manchester, as well as the work we did there with Sanofi Genzyme in the multiple sclerosis (MS) space. We created one of the first true social media movements in pharma, delivered the world’s first pharma emoji, as well as helping people across Europe demand more from their MS care. When I came back from mat leave, moving into my new role as Chief Growth Officer rather than returning to my role as Managing Director of H4B was one of the toughest moves I’ve ever made.

What are the greatest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

I suffer from anxiety which at times really has been a challenge to balance when working in Client Services and in senior leadership roles. Earlier in my career I hid what was going on from work and attempted to just ‘get on with it’. Finally when I opened up to my peers, leadership and those working for me, I found that with the support of those around me I have been able to overcome the challenges and now support those experiencing similar issues within our industry. I’m grateful for the support that has been given to me over the years as well as the unwavering belief in my ability.

What advice would you offer those thinking of a similar career?

Go into healthcare comms with your eyes open, ask questions, listen hard, volunteer to get involved and push yourself outside your comfort zone. So much of what we do you learn through doing, so you need to roll up your sleeves and get involved. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but make sure you’re also quick to offer it too!

What are your hopes for the future?

In my new role I’ve been working with our teams to define how we want to harness our growth across our rapidly expanding group. I’m excited to see how we continue to grow and diversify over the next couple of years. It’s such an interesting time for our industry – the combination of the changes in engagement with our customers, the increased focus on healthcare and pharma from the general public, together with completely reinventing the way in which we work as an agency is providing an opportunity to make some massive leaps forward that have been needed in both healthcare and agency life for a number of years.