As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Georgette Pascale, Founder + CEO of Pascale Communications.
With two decades of experience in PR including corporate, healthcare, e-commerce, music, technology, travel and consumer, Georgette believed there was a better way to do business than the traditional brick and mortar agency model. In 2005 she launched Pascale, a virtual communications and digital marketing agency.
For 15 years, Pascale has worked in Health Care Professional and patient-facing PR and digital marketing, connecting and educating the global healthcare community through insightful conversations and fresh perspectives. With ever-present optimism and drive, Georgette directs her team to achieve unparalleled results for the wide range of Pascale’s healthcare clients spanning the globe.
Georgette holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In January 2020, Georgette acted as the keynote speaker and moderator for the 2020 Reputation Strategy Summit. In 2018 and 2019, she was selected as a speaker at the Vanguard Forum for Healthcare Leadership. Georgette has been named one of PharmaVoice’s “100 of the Most Inspiring People”, one of Vision Monday’s “Most Inspiring Women” and OWL’s Catalyst of the Year, along with being the former President of OWL: Advancing Diversity in Leadership.
Georgette lives in Fairfield, Connecticut with her three children, dog and a myriad of other animals. She has combined her passion for people and love of boxing, holding a position on the Boxing is Love board, among other not-for-profits she’s involved in. She enjoys traveling, having a good laugh, and connecting people.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I went to a state school in New York. I had always hoped to go into fashion, but found myself become increasingly interested in business and changed my major to Marketing/Communications. I interned for a PR firm and fell in love with educating and connecting people. After years in the business, I set out to start a unique work space, creating a completely virtual healthcare communications and marketing agency, Pascale, 15 years ago.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
When looking back on my career, it’s funny to think about how young entrepreneurs can be — sometimes cocky and believing that they can do it all. I’ve learned from experience that one person just can’t do it all. I believe in hiring people to work on the things that you can’t do. Look at people’s strengths and surround yourself with people that can network and help you. If you share your mission and beliefs in business, you can create a holistic team that achieves your goals.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain.
While I enjoy the occasional business podcast or book, my biggest learning lessons have come from all of the interesting people I have met during my time in the industry. The secret sauce is working with a variety of people and learning how to deal with them — sometimes through trial and error. While books can be informative, it is the experience of dealing with others and the conversations with mentors that I have gotten the most from.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
I started Pascale with the mission to provide top level services in a more cost-effective way, and to educate others. It’s important to make this mission known internally so that teams know why they’re doing the work that they do.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
Running a business comes with its daily challenges and changes, but I find I work best when I center myself and focus on the good in that day. No matter what has happened, there’s always a positive I can find. I’ve also learned the importance of not taking things personally. It is business, not a personal message — so don’t look too deep into it!
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
COVID-19 has definitely affected work life and personal life. Like most, I was unsure of how quarantining and working in tandem with my children virtual learning would go. Talking with my friends or even taking a look at my Facebook feed I see other parents in the same position. However, I’m happy to say it has been an awesome experience. Challenging at times? Yes, but the positives have outweighed the negatives. My kids have been able to watch me work and have a better understanding of what the work world really is, and I get to see how they tackle virtual learning and stay resilient in this tough time. Kids are like machines — they set a goal and work their hardest, in their own individual way, to achieve it. It has been great to watch.
Can you share a few of the biggest work related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Just as most others have faced during this time, there is the losing and gaining of clients and the ups and down of money. Everyone is going through it to some extent. At Pascale, we are listening to our clients and pivoting to meet their needs during this turbulent time. Because we are already a virtual company, it has been a privilege to help others learn to work from home like we do. We are staying optimistic and trying to lift up those around us.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Dealing with anxiety is highly individualistic. For me, staying busy keeps me sane. If you can find a way to turn your anxiousness into action — do it! It’s not a cure all, but it will keep you from obsessing over the news and building up your anxiety. Because the media is jam-packed with anxiety inducing stories, I’d also say stick to a few good sources and be careful what you read, share and react to.
Obviously we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
During this unprecedented time, it’s all about taking it day by day. This is not the time to make plans 6 months out or churn out huge proposals. Right now, I am focusing on connecting with clients, listening to what they need, and pivoting strategy to achieve their goals and exceed their expectations. Internally, this time is an opportunity for companies to try out new ways of working. If virtual is working for them now, perhaps it can be integrated into their future work model, especially for big companies who may previously have been wary of virtual.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
I’m Italian, so I’ve always been a hugger. The learning curve of not being able to embrace those around me has been a difficult adjustment. Aside from that, I foresee businesses making big changes to adapt to this new reality. There may be limited in person meetings, and virtual may become integrated into far more work spaces than before.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
Luckily Pascale was ahead of the virtual curve, so the biggest foreseeable change to the company would be organization of teams. With changes in client needs, there will be evolution of services and structure. I believe by pivoting quickly enough with needs in the market, business will keep going and jobs will be retained. There are also some gray areas that may not be predictable at the current time, they will be analyzed day by day, week by week to see how we will handle them.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
Work with your network. The stress of this time shouldn’t create divisiveness, but rather, it should be an opportunity to be more connected than ever. Strive to partner with others, pass along business, and refer people when fit. This is a time to build trust in relationships and work as a team, not make it a competition.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My father always told me, “make every day a masterpiece.” This is the mantra I live my life by. There will always be ups and downs, but despite all of that, I always look to find the good.
How can our readers further follow your work?
Connect with us on Instagram @pascalecom, and check out our website pascalecommunications.com and virtually awesome video to learn more about what we do. You can connect with me on LinkedIn at Georgette Pascale or Instagram at @ms.georgettepascale.