This week we had the pleasure of speaking to Dirk Poschenrieder.
Dirk is currently Director of Strategy at Razorfish Healthware in Germany, having started his career in a small owner-managed healthcare agency. Then going client side at Deutsche Post DHL, Sony and Johnson & Johnson.
Razorfish Healthware are a specialist in digital and healthcare communications agency and part of the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG), one of the largest and most innovative health oriented agency network in the world.
AH: Tell us about a piece of recent work that you are proud of?
While I was working for Johnson & Johnson I helped create an Adherence-Program for Hepatitis C to guide patients through their therapy. This Program was awarded with the first Customer Orientation Award EMEA: Gold in the category company loyalty for “German Hepatitis C Adherence Program”. But what makes me proud about this project, wasn’t about winning the prize, but getting direct feedback from thankful patients.
AH: There are so many award shows these days, how important are they to you?
DP: I’m not sure if we need them or not? It’s like heaven or hell! I think that awards can help you to get more visibility. But in the end it’s not an award that helps you to get new clients. It’s the chemistry between agency and client.
AH: Which award show are you most excited about this year?
DP: I think it would be the Lions Health. It’s the first time that the event takes place and I would be fun to be on the podium and one of the first winners!
AH: Should healthcare advertising still be regarded as separate from the wider Advertising community?
DP: Yes, because Healthcare Advertising is so different – so special in comparison with “wider Advertising”. It’s a mix of creative work combined with science/medical knowledge. You always have to keep in mind the regulatory hurdles within the industry and that can sometimes restrict creativity.
AH: Do you consider yourself as someone who works more in advertising of more in pharma?
DP:I see myself more as an advertising man working in a very special environment with a natural interest in healthcare. I’d love to work with Pharmaceutical companies and to discover with them the “new world” of Digital Marketing with all the opportunities and risks and to be a part of the change in Healthcare industry.
AH: Do you think we sometimes use regulation an excuse to make work that doesn’t live up to standard consumer advertising?
DP: I can only speak for myself, but I’ve never done this in the past and won’t do it in the future. Regulation is our daily business we have to handle to achieve the best for our clients.
AH: Do you think healthcare agencies should start planning their own media to get the creative control they need?
DP: The Publicis Healthcare Communications Group has established a “new company”: Publicis Health Media run by my colleague Matt McNally. PHM is the strategic media planning and buying agency within PHCG with a global footprint and dedicated to the health and wellness space.
AH: Where do you look for inspiration?
DP: Reading, reading, Reading…. Good books, Posts, Newspapers, Journals… Inspiration comes from everywhere.
AH: Do you have any advice for someone new to the industry?
DP: Be strong – be brave! Think out of the box and don’t let regulatory force you to be not as creative as you can be. And never forget that every change begins with a first step!
AH: Who do you look up to in the industry?
Within healthcare advertising it’s Alex Butler. He has a similar background and his agency is doing a fantastic job. I’d like reading his articles. He has a clear understanding about the changes in healthcare industry. Outside our industry it’s my ten year old daughter. Seeing her grown up and finding her own way in society makes me proud and is one of my greatest adventures.
AH: Who would you like to nominate for us to interview next?
DP: I would love to read an article from Nick Colucci, President and Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. I think (unfortunately I have never met him) he’s an inspiring person with a deep knowledge about advertising in general and healthcare.
AH: Thank’s Dirk, great to talk to you.