Profile: Howard Godman, Chandler Chicco - Maintaining a health regime/Chandler Chicco’s new European MD comes with a long pedigree in health PR

Howard Godman was not born wanting to be a healthcare PR expert, but his potential was obvious at an early age. ’When I left my local grammar school in Hull to do A levels, the headmaster wrote a report about me which said: ’He will be capable of a professional career, such as public relations’,’ he says. That was 35 years ago.

Howard Godman was not born wanting to be a healthcare PR expert,

but his potential was obvious at an early age. ’When I left my local

grammar school in Hull to do A levels, the headmaster wrote a report

about me which said: ’He will be capable of a professional career, such

as public relations’,’ he says. That was 35 years ago.



Godman’s name may be new on the payroll at healthcare PR specialists

Chandler Chicco, but he is no stranger to his New York-based bosses. For

some two years before he landed his latest job as managing director of

CC’s European operation, Godman liaised with Gianfranco Chicco on work

for Bayer. He handled European matters from Manning, Selvage and Lee,

while Chicco looked after the global scene from Chandler Chicco.



It’s therefore rather fitting that the Bayer account will supply a major

chunk of work for Godman’s new team, all four of whom CC poached from

MS&L. The team members’ contracts with MS&L prevent them from poaching

its clients, such as drugs companies Zeneca and Glaxo Wellcome, but

Godman is planning to woo other pan-European healthcare business, and

cites Pfizer as one potential account.



Henrietta Noyes, who is leaving her post as MS&L’s UK healthcare

director to join Godman, describes him as kind and understanding, and a

family man. According to Noyes, he is ’a natural managing director,

because he looks at the whole picture.’



Godman claims that he can get stressed about small things, such as

organising stationery for his new operation, but it is hard to imagine

him getting into a flap. The softly-spoken Yorkshire man exudes calm and

you can almost see his brain cogs whirring methodically before he opens

his mouth to speak.



So why is he so placid? ’I know the business so there’s a huge

confidence, and I enjoy it,’ he says., ’That gives you a certain

calmness. When companies ring up, I tend to know who they are, what

their rankings are and what their cultural approaches are.’



His knowledge has grown over nearly 25 years in healthcare PR, have

included setting up his own healthcare agency, Vox PR. Vox was owned by

Omnicom and in 1995 became part of Countrywide. Godman says that while

the techniques used in healthcare PR have not changed much during this

time, the messages have. ’Patients are getting more vocal as they become

more educated through coverage of healthcare in the media,’ he says.



He joined Glaxo Laboratories as an advertising executive. ’I spent six

years in that environment. It taught me to determine what information is

necessary, and what needs to be communicated to GPs, specialists and

nurses. It’s filtering and sifting information that people in our

business need to be good at.’



He moved to Switzerland in 1978 and spent a further seven years

in-house, with the US drugs company Schering Plough, where he eventually

became communications director for Europe, Africa and the Middle

East.’Sitting in the centre of Europe working with Swedes, Germans,

Italians and Spaniards, taking some good ideas from the US and seeing

how they could work across Europe ... It just opened up my eyes to the

whole world,’ he says.



Some colleagues feel that Godman’s long years as an in-house PR have

made him too empathetic towards clients - he is known for taking the

client’s side in meetings - but he denies there is a problem. ’Clients

appreciate that you understand their predicament. Where I see them doing

things that I think should be done differently I am able to tell them.

But some things you might think of suggesting are just not that easily

implemented, from a client standpoint. You only know that if you’re

aware of the politics of a major international company.’



When not working, Godman strives for balance of a quite different sort:

he cycles 50 miles a week, come rain or shine. It is, he says -

appropriately enough for a healthcare PR man - ’good therapy.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1978

Advertising manager for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Schering

Plough

1987

Established Vox PR for Omnicom

1995

European healthcare director , Manning, Selvage and Lee

1998

Managing director, Chandler Chicco London



Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.

News by email...