“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things,” said American writer Henry Miller. And starting this week, I’ll be privy to an entirely new way of seeing things from the opposite side of the world in Sydney, Australia as a part of the 2016 GLOBALHealthPR® Professional Exchange Program with our partner, VIVA! Communications.
The exchange program is designed to enhanc
e the connectivity of GHPR agencies by fostering collaboration, sharing best practices and enabling employees to gain insight into the drivers that affect health and science communications in other markets. To me, the program is the perfect combination of global travel and true cultural immersion – really getting the opportunity to see public relations, healthcare and the world through someone else’s eyes.
Airbnb has a clever marketing slogan that says “Don’t Go There. Live There.” The opportunity to live, work and play in Australia for a few weeks with our VIVA! colleagues is a chance to do just that. I’m particularly interested in learning about our similarities and differences in the public relations and healthcare worlds. I’m eager to dive into their account work and find out what it’s like working with Aussie colleagues and Aussie clients. I hope to learn more about challenges and opportunities facing clients in Australia, and how VIVA approaches them. We all work in the world of healthcare, and I’m eager to gain a more global perspective on the issues.
My trip Down Under is actually “part 2” of this year’s exchange – Mark Henderson, the Queensland Branch Manager at VIVA! Communications spent a few weeks in Washington, DC and New York in September. I’m thrilled to reconnect with Mark as well as with Paul Jans, VIVA!’s Managing Director, who I met in São Paulo, Brazil during the 2012 GLOBALHealthPR Annual General Meeting. From what I’ve seen and heard, VIVA! is a really cool agency, doing interesting work and not unlike Spectrum in many ways. I often view our Spectrum team as a family, so I think the VIVA! gang is pretty much our cousins Down Under – and I’m so excited to pay them a visit and compare notes over a few middies of beer!
Kaitlin Bowen is participating in the GLOBALHealthPR Professional Exchange Program representing exclusive U.S. partner Spectrum. The Program aims to enhance the connectivity of GLOBALHealthPR agencies through collaboration, best practice sharing, and insights into the drivers that affect health and science communications in different markets worldwide, and to build professional relationships with other GLOBALHealthPR personnel around the globe.
Kaitlin is an account director at GHPR U.S. partner Spectrum. To follow her experiences on the GLOBALHealthPR Professional Exchange Program online, use #GHPRConnects to join the conversation and see all of the 2016 exchange programming.