The New World Needs your Company’s Voice

Contributed by Susan Stipa, CEO of McDay and Murad Sabzali, CEO of CG Life 

All around the region, you hear the refrain: ‘how is your business surviving?’ These queries, delivered via text, email, phone and increasingly, video conferencing, and even in the new phenomenon of virtual happy hour, net a variety of reactions.

Every professional and business is trying to maintain their existence, stay relevant and adapt to factors that are mostly out of everyone’s control. Business is changing at an exponential rate. Business practices in April 2020 may be radically different by June. However, the constant amidst this change is that some business leaders are stepping up and delivering more than ever before. These people are quickly pivoting to maintain operations and strategize for a new world.

All the new lessons learned, and the thought leadership revelations that accompany them, will help small businesses, large enterprises and whole industry ecosystems to evolve and emerge as something new and thriving. These lessons will need to be heard and implemented by peer groups and in all levels of business.

Business News and Timing

A female CEO, Susan Stipa has been running Philadelphia-based McDay, a pharmaceutical marketing communications and PR firm, with a remote workforce for many years. In February, life science marketing agency CG Life acquired McDay, turning a well-established strategic alliance into a formal business agreement mere weeks before the public health and economic crisis hit.

As a member of the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (IABCN), the McDay team would say this was good luck. However, it also presented a new business challenge. Should an important milestone such as this be celebrated and communicated during the current business conditions? Or, should the business hold back and wait until the clouds clear?

Stipa, a former pharmaceutical process engineer with roots in Swiss pharma company Roche and local firm Foster Wheeler Biokinetics, says:  “McDay is now part of CG Life. This should be celebrated, but the more important point is that our clients need us right now. We can’t slow down. With non-stop phone calls and questions from concerned and pivotal clients in the pharma space, the new, combined team of engineers and scientists, writers and communicators, have stepped up to the baseline.” A competitive tennis player, Stipa notes that tennis players have always practiced social distancing at 42 feet—from baseline to baseline.

Experience from the Trenches that Empowers Success

In times of crisis, it is those who continue to move forward that will go farther. They will gain more experience, extend greater influence, and engender more trust and credibility in the market.

CG Life Founding Partner Murad Sabzali strikes an optimistic tone. “Together, CG Life and McDay have such a wealth of scientists and engineers within our combined team that it felt like the perfect time to make available our most important resources: solid scientific understanding, strategic data-driven insights, and decades upon decades of combined business experience. The union of our agencies strengthens our unique insight into the interconnected worlds of pharmaceutical discovery, development, clinical recruitment and commercialization. We’re proud to benefit a growing number of our clients that are working to develop new vaccines, therapies, diagnostic tests and other innovations to combat the pandemic.”

Even in this time of uncertainty, we can be certain that the pharmaceutical and healthcare brands that will be successful will be those that place people at the center of their brand promise and marketing campaigns. In order to achieve this, those organizations must segment and parse their audiences in far more insightful and detailed ways than ever before. These companies will gain an understanding of human needs and desired outcomes.

Sabzali added, “In addition to the unique marketing landscape, this is an extremely exciting time in life sciences and healthcare. The speed at which innovation is becoming commercialized is unprecedented. This requires an increasingly sophisticated approach to marketing and communications.”


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