Carolyn Morgan is president of Precisioneffect.
What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
Up until college this answer was easy: an anchorwoman. My first paper was on Diane Sawyer and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. Now, I would answer this differently: academia. I really enjoy the academic atmosphere and would love to teach marketing or history. Imparting knowledge and encouraging individual and team growth is something I am really passionate about.
Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
Personally, my husband has worked hard to get our two sets of twins on skis this year. We all went skiing this past weekend and it was an all-day fun time without any crying.
Professionally, what is fun about the agency world is victory can happen at any time. A successful client presentation, a promotion for a team member, an industry award. My most recent victory was just last week when we walked out of a new business pitch and everyone nailed their parts. It was rewarding to see months of hard work pay off and be well received.
When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat” moment? What did you learn from it?
We lost an account this past year that really hurt. The work was great, the ROI was phenomenal and the chemistry was on point. However, new leadership came in and wanted to change agencies. We were floored. We participated in the pitch, against that inner voice in my head, and to no one’s surprise we didn’t win. I think it hurt more because as a leader I should have known better than to put my team through that. I was in denial and won’t ignore that inner voice again.
How long ago was the last time you recharged your batteries? What did you do?
For my husband’s 40th birthday this past year we took an amazing trip. We traveled to Ireland to see Ed Sheeran and run in a national park and then headed to Scotland to explore castles. We concluded our travel in England with a hike at Mount Helvellyn in the Lake District and a Liverpool football club match at Anfield stadium. It was the perfect blend of activities and relaxing.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
At times the industry can be too conservative. Creative and risk have been intertwined – if you are being creative it must be risky. There are plenty of ways to be remarkably creative without being risky and agencies and clients must work together to redefine what good creative looks like for each brand. Sometimes it will be art, other times it will be copy, and for some it will be innovative tactics. The most important thing is that we are wielding creativity for the good of the brand with trackable metrics, not just doing it to be daring.
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women I will…
Continue to review annual pay within our agency to identify and address any discrepancies; mentor women as they pursue advancements in their career, both inside the agency and within the industry, and guide them in pay conversations; and foster conversation around balancing pay equity in a meritocracy.
What are your words to live by?
My two favorite quotes are both from the phenomenal Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” and “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
If you want to be great at something you have to work hard for it. Nothing replaces the hard work. Sure, some things can make it easier, such as the right contact or a lucky break, but nothing replaces truly owning and bettering your craft. Ask for and embrace feedback, take on unexpected assignments, be uncomfortable. There is nothing standing in your way, except yourself.
I have a trifecta: coffee to start, water to maintain, and wine to close.
What three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?
- Queen Elizabeth. She has had a front row seat for every major world event for the past 70 years and has had prime ministers from Winston Churchill to Theresa May. She must have the most fascinating stories.
- Maya Angelou. She is just so inspirational. Her life story is astounding – from being a mute child to a voice of a generation. Her work is impeccable.
- Lenny Kravitz. I have always loved his music, approach, and general style. Plus, I think he’d enjoy meeting Maya and the Queen and help me keep the conversation going (while I stare at him).