Connor Moonan

Vice President - Digital Health at Weber Shandwick

What is your proudest professional achievement?

Aside from this incredible honour, completing an in-house secondment at one of my long-term clients, Novartis, was very rewarding. In just a few months, we launched an integrated haematology awareness campaign featuring an interactive installation here in London. It was an opportunity that enabled me to immerse myself in the business, build even stronger relationships and return to Weber Shandwick with valuable insight into how we could better serve the client at a strategic level. The experience led to a new agency leadership role for me, as part of my client's extended team.

How are you using AI in your role at present?

As a digital communications specialist, I typically use AI for ideation purposes or to breakdown complex information quickly. It's 'step one' before I consider incorporating additional tools such as social listening and specialist perspectives from colleagues. Platforms like ChatGPT, ChatPDF, Perplexity and Consensus are fantastic for ideation, copy-creation and research purposes. Whilst there's no doubt AI has huge potential – and we've definitely only just scratched the surface, I believe that it's never been more important to apply a human lens to AI contributions.

Which social media platforms do you use more than others, and why?

LinkedIn is my go-to for building executive visibility and executing thought leadership programmes for my clients. The platform is continually innovating and introducing new ad formats, such as thought leader ads and the audience targeting options are valuable from a paid media perspective. TikTok, another favourite, has completely transformed the way people consume content on social and it's given brands a new way of connecting with audiences on a no-frills, human level. I'm a big fan of how it has unlocked positive storytelling opportunities for contentious health and issues-based conversations.

What's the secret to good client/agency relationships?

Candour is essential because it encourages both parties to constructively challenge one another, brings them closer and supports the realisation of collective goals. People do business with people they know, like and trust and, in my opinion, clients are looking for a sparring partner, someone who is willing to have open and honest conversations and ask the difficult questions, enabling strategically sound recommendations. The onus is on the agency team to really immerse itself in the client's business and develop a deep understanding of the external landscape, including the broader commercial and comms challenges.

What is the motto you live by?

Fortune favours the bold. There will always be a place for insights and analytics in decision-making, but I truly believe that success also requires taking carefully calculated risks and the adoption of an entrepreneurial mindset. Healthcare clients operate within the context of highly regulated sectors and potentially contentious issues and it's only from being comfortable in complexity and being prepared to stand out from the crowd that communications and commercial ambitions are realised.