Alexandra von Plato
group president of North America communications and media | Publicis Health
What would you do if you didn't work in healthcare?
I wanted to be an actress — so if I were successful, I would be starring in a Julia Louis-Dreyfus- or Valerie Harper-type sitcom. Or more likely I'd be a struggling actress waiting tables in West Hollywood.
Talk about the last time you experienced a truly fist-pumping victory moment.
Cheering for the Shire and Digitas Health team at the phenomenal launch of Xiidra in Miami Beach last summer. Simply the most stunning launch I have ever had the honor to be part of.
When was the last time you endured an "agony of defeat" moment? What did you learn from it?
My sister died unexpectedly last year, a loss so devastating that every bad thing that ever happened to me before December 5 instantly became a minor disappointment. Mostly I learned that I can lose everything, but I still can't be defeated.
How long ago was the last time you truly took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
Every Sunday I sleep until 10 a.m., make a huge brunch for my husband and kids, and read The New York Times for the rest of the day.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
I love healthcare marketing and I never get frustrated by the complexity of our industry or the intensity of the subject matter. What frustrates me is the same thing that frustrates all agency and professional services people: junior clients who think the word “client” is a license to be disrespectful. The same frustration applies to all people with bad manners everywhere.
What are your words to live by?
A point of view is worth 90 IQ points.
What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Every 20-year-old feels insecure and unprepared; some just don't show it as much. It's OK to be afraid, but it's a shame not to take risks while you're young and have little to lose. Fake it 'til you make it.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
We need you. Healthcare marketing is a mix of humanity, scientific innovation, and art — a great choice for creative women who crave meaning in their work. Also, healthcare agencies are more likely than general agencies to have more women in executive leadership roles, proof that the industry truly values women.
Hendrick's and tonic. (Thanks to Graham Mills, our global chief creative officer at Publicis Health.)
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say as you enter? Your sister is here.