PRWeek 30 Under 30: Anthony Ou, BCW

We hear from Anthony Ou (29), account director, healthcare, BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe).

Growing up as a BAME migrant and member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Anthony Ou has overcome adversity to follow his passions and become an empowering figure as account director at BCW.

Ou co-founded WPP Unite, BCW’s first employee-driven task force championing diversity and inclusion – it has since been shortlisted for Outstanding Employee Network in Burberry’s British Diversity Awards.

The 29-year-old is a NoTurningBack ambassador, as well as mentor to young BAME talent – leading de-stigmatisation campaigns that address inequalities in the healthcare sector.

Ou manages the press office for RADIAN (Gilead Sciences and Elton John AIDS Foundation partnership), securing a media partnership with The Guardian; and has organised public affairs for major HIV/AIDS medical congresses.

He also managed media relations for Viagra Connect to improve men’s health, making erection problems less of a taboo – with coverage boosting sales by over 40 per cent. 

Ou now manages six-figure global pharmaceutical accounts after turning to healthcare from consumer PR four years ago.

Nominator says

Always true to who he is, Anthony is today a role model for young communicators.

What's your favourite thing about working in PR?

Being able to change public perception and move people to take action through powerful storytelling. I’ve always had a passion for writing and telling stories. Growing up, I had countless manuscripts of short fiction saved on my PC and I’ve even had one of my short poems published! Today, working in healthcare PR, I get to flex my creative writing muscles to reach stakeholders so that they can help influence positive change for patients and address their greatest unmet needs.

What one thing above all would you change about the PR industry?

In my opinion, there is generally a lack of diversity within senior leadership teams in the industry. We need to ensure diverse and inclusive representation within our senior teams and give a seat at the table to the people that we’re trying to reach. Strong and creative ideas that effect positive change can come from all walks of life.

Where would you be working if you weren't in comms?

While I’ve always dreamed about being in a rock band touring the world, I’d most likely be an urban planner, as that is what I studied in university and I love geography (my specialist round at pub quizzes).

What's your hidden talent?

Aside from being able to eat two large pizzas in one sitting, I’ve been told that I’m a pretty decent dancer. I do drag (yes, as a drag queen, rather than drag racing), so perhaps you might even run into me performing in drag in the near future!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Leading an anti-stigma campaign and working closely with UNAIDS or the WHO… and competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

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