Millennials and healthcare communications: like avocado on toast

What can anyone say about millennials that hasn't already been said? We're lazy, entitled snowflakes. No: we are motivated, creative collaborators. We're ruining everything. No: we are making things better.

Why work for a company that isn’t trying to do good? asks Liz Mercer
Why work for a company that isn’t trying to do good? asks Liz Mercer

Regardless of what side of the fence you stand on – and unsurprisingly being a millennial myself, I’m firmly on the latter – there’s no doubt that we are a generation that seems to embrace and drive change.

Why settle for a traditional job, why work for a company that isn’t trying to do good, and why stay in any role longer than a couple of years if you aren’t learning and excited to come into the office?

This tendency to challenge, to move around and to push companies to be more flexible, diverse and to make a tangible difference in the world is something that I’ve both witnessed and been part of.

After starting my career in consumer PR, I made the decision to step sideways more than once, first into technology, and more recently into healthcare comms, hunting for that elusive sense of purpose.

It’s in this specialist branch of communications where I feel the wave of millennial demands and a tendency to refuse to settle is having the greatest impact.

When I look at my peers, there is an impressive range of backgrounds, and very few of us took the usual PR routes of journalism, communications or English degrees.

If the global healthcare industry itself is racing to revamp its approach in order to better serve millennials, then why shouldn’t some of those millennials decide to change the industry from within?

Liz Mercer, account director at Publicis Resolute

With an ex-pharmacist, an ex-midwife, a plethora of PhD scientists, a scattering of ex-fashion and beauty experts, and even previous financial sector grads – with degrees from biomedical sciences to classical civilisation and everything in between – it seems there’s a real trend of millennials moving into healthcare comms, looking for something more meaningful than money.

This is a trend that goes far beyond the microcosm of healthcare practices across London – in fact, I’m prepared to bet that this is something that is happening all over the place.

Maybe that shouldn’t come as a surprise; if the global healthcare industry itself is racing to revamp its approach in order to better serve millennials, then why shouldn’t some of those millennials decide to change the industry from within?

Obviously, this is great news from a diversity and inclusion perspective, but this change is also positively affecting the work we do.

If you’re busy building a culture that puts the emphasis on emotional intelligence, then those fresh young co-workers might tend to view the world through a lens that goes beyond the logical, and leans towards the sensorial and emotive.

If your new team members are inspired by purposeful work – campaigns that make a difference to patients, challenge stigma and inspire disease awareness – then it makes sense to cultivate those business opportunities and pitch for the accounts that will provide those experiences.

Ultimately, a change in thinking combined with determined agencies guiding typically cautious healthcare clients towards even bolder and more impactful work, can only mean we’re about to ride a wave of imaginative and award-winning campaigns.

Liz Mercer is an account director at Publicis Resolute

Thumbnail image ©GettyImages


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