On The Sofa With OVID Health: Q&A With Robbie Lockyer, Senior Account Executive

On The Sofa With OVID Health: Q&A With Robbie Lockyer, Senior Account Executive

In this instalment of “On the sofa with OVID health” we sat down with Senior Account Executive, Robbie Lockyer.

Robbie joined OVID from a medical communications agency where he worked on their largest global client account in gene therapy – managing ad boards, congresses, symposiums and web content. Before that Robbie worked in the PR team, working across multiple campaigns, internal comms, social content and corporate engagement. Previously, Robbie worked as a healthcare assistant in an NHS intensive care unit and as a marketing intern. He has a degree in Human Geography from the University of British Columbia.

Read on to hear more about Robbie’s path to OVID, his advice for anyone starting out in the field of healthcare communications, and his favourite ways to unwind.

People come into our industry through many different routes and backgrounds. Tell us a bit more about your route into PR and public affairs?

While I had the most amazing time at university, like many others, I found navigating the “what comes next” quite daunting – COVID-19 didn’t entirely help matters! It was a toss-up between PR or nursing (making full use of my geography degree!). I liked the idea of a glamorous life in fashion PR but I equally also wanted to work within the healthcare space – I volunteered at a children’s hospital and absolutely loved it. COVID-19 really disrupted the job market when I finished university and I was desperate to move to London, so I found a job at the only place mass-hiring, the hospital! I worked on an ICU ward for nine months before finding the world of health communications which was a perfect blend of my interests in healthcare and PR. Public affairs has been something I’ve been introduced to at OVID and I’ve enjoyed working on these accounts and learning about the scopes of this workstream.

How do you think your frontline experience in the NHS has influenced your approach to your subsequent roles?

Being able to see how different drugs are administered to patients in various ways was fascinating, and highly relevant to our field of work. I worked with patients directly, and ultimately they’re the end ‘user’ of the work we do in healthcare comms, so whenever I need a smidge of inspiration or motivation, I think of the patients I looked after.

You’ve worked across various aspects of healthcare communications, from PR campaigns to global client accounts in gene therapy. What has been the most rewarding project or campaign you’ve been involved in, and what did you learn from it?

I love all the accounts I’m on now at OVID, but the account I worked on at my first agency will always have a place in my heart. They were a biotechnology company based in Sweden who developed an enzyme technology platform to treat patients with rare conditions. I wrote press releases, social media posts and newsletters, helped build out their website and branding kit, and of course supported the foundations for all accounts – administration! It really gave me a taste of the ‘bread and butter’ for the industry and was the perfect account to start my healthcare PR career with.

Reflecting on your journey, what key lessons or pieces of advice would you share with your younger self or others starting out in the field of healthcare communications?

Time management and workload prioritisation is absolutely key within agency life – get this nailed down and it’ll make your day-to-days so much smoother. I also believe finding passion in every therapy area is vital – don’t limit yourself to just one box and be open to immersing yourself into everything. 

As a young professional, navigating the hustle and bustle of London life whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be challenging. How do you prioritise your mental health amidst the demands of your career, and what strategies or practices have you found effective in achieving this balance?

I feel there’s a lot of pressure for younger people in London to always be seen socialising or doing something exciting. I often find joy in the ordinary things, whether that be cooking a nice meal, reading an exciting chapter of my book or deep-cleaning that area of my flat which I might have been putting off for a while! I also love to exercise after work, playing rugby on Saturdays and catching up with friends, old and new!

As a Hammersmith local, with an enviably short commute to OVID towers, what’s your favourite thing about living in the area and do you have any recommendations?

I got very lucky with my commute! I do love running the “three bridges” route (start on the northside of the Thames at Hammersmith Bridge, run eastwards to Putney Bridge, cross it and run all the way to Barnes Bridge westwards, cross it and then run back to Hammersmith Bridge – it’s a lovely route!). Hammersmith has great pubs, especially along the river.


Quick-fire questions!

Push day, pull day or leg day?

It really depends on my mood or what I did the previous day!

Favourite office snacks (from the FORA jars of joy)?

These sweet chilli crisp-like things

Instagram or X?

Probably Instagram – though only when you actually see the content from your friends!

Mountains or beaches?

Mountains with lakes – the best of both worlds!

Go-to hype song?

This changes on a week-by-week basis – right now it’s probably Blinding Lights by The Weeknd