Grant Alison


Grant Alison

Job Title

Account Director

How did you hear about Healthcare Communications?

By the end of my degree, I knew working in a lab or pursuing further education wasn’t the right path for me.

I had identified that my real passion was exploring the more ‘human’ side of science and health. One of my last modules at university was medical anthropology and I remember being fascinated by the impact of government messaging on the spread of disease.

I was researching careers for people with a science background and through a quick Google search came across healthcare comms, which seemed the perfect fit.

I loved the idea of staying within the broader scientific field but with scope to be creative and  work with lots of interesting people.


Your career path

June 2019 – graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Infectious Diseases

August 2019 – joined 90TEN as an Assistant Account Executive

January 2023 – joined Virgo Health as a Senior Account Manager

March 2024 – promoted to Account Director – Virgo Health


What area of Healthcare communications do you work in?

I’m part of the pharma comms team at Virgo Health, currently working across two accounts with a corporate comms focus.


What types of projects do you work on?

Typical projects include media relations and press office, social media strategy and channel management, executive visibility, corporate events, content development (and anything else that comes our way!)


What does a typical day at work look like?

As much as I'd love to avoid a cliché, there isn't a typical day at work.

That said, some of my daily responsibilities include reviewing materials – social media calendars, thought leadership articles, and metrics reports; preparing communications plans and media strategies, such as for an upcoming corporate announcement; as well as ongoing client liaison and generally ensuring my teams have everything they need to deliver for our clients.

Other key responsibilities include preparing client budgets, supporting on new/organic business proposals, managing account finances, inputting into resourcing and always keeping our finance team in the loop.


How would you describe your role?

I would describe my role as being like a type of publicist, either enhancing the reputation of a pharmaceutical company, their executives, or their products.


What has been the highlight of your career in Healthcare Communications?

One standout would be my first ever promotion. Early in my career, I always had a fear that I wasn’t ‘cut out’ for the job and I lacked a lot of confidence. Being promoted gave me a much-needed boost and helped me realise that healthcare comms was the industry for me.


What skills do you think are most important in your role?

Writing, time management, active listening.


What has been your greatest career challenge and how did you overcome it?

Earlier in my career, I would get frustrated that I could never clear my to-do list, which left me feeling like I was constantly behind.

As I settled more into agency life, I started to see things less like a to-do list and more like a sliding scale of priorities which are always on the move. Once I got comfortable with this life became much easier!


What are your future career goals?

I see myself staying agency-side for several more years, hopefully working my way up to a more senior role.

I love the energy, community spirit and fun of agency life – all crucial elements when working in a high-pressure industry.


How would you describe Healthcare Communications?

Put broadly, I see healthcare comms as the bridge between science, healthcare and the public. We’re constantly bombarded with information about our health, and it’s our job to help make sense of this for people.


What do you love about working in Healthcare Communications?

One of my favourite aspects is the proximity we have to the latest scientific breakthroughs and the challenge that comes with communicating them to different audiences.

I love seeing how the mix of people across the agency improves the quality of our work and the impact it can have.


What advice would you give someone looking to start their career in Healthcare Communications?

Firstly, be a sponge for information and ask lots of questions. There’s a lot to take in and no one will expect you to be an expert. I would also say that healthcare comms is a team sport – you aren’t alone, and you should always lean on those around you.