Een andere kijk op zorg

I love how you get to define your own role within the company  

“At first I was a bit apprehensive about working for a large corporation. You hear about ego’s fighting their way up the chain of command, rigid structures, slow processes, hundreds of obstacles you have to circumvent before you reach a decision. I am a person who acts before they have thought things through. I’m impulsive, reckless at times even. I want to innovate, try, test, fail and try again. Would that work in such an environment? Yes, it does. And it does very well, actually”, said Ilona de Bok, social media manager in the Benelux market and BC&D 360 lead for Image Guided Therapy (IGT).
I’m impulsive, reckless at times even. I want to innovate, try, test, fail and try again. Would that work in such an environment? Yes, it does. And it does very well, actually"

Philips Family

“I started mid-August at the Brand, Communications and Digital (BC&D) team in the Benelux. Before joining here, I worked as PR and Online media manager at Gibson Innovations. GI had acquired the audio-business of Philips and I joined just after the acquisition. I had lots of colleagues who had worked with Philips for years and obviously they told me about its culture”, said Ilona. She got to work with people at Philips when devising and executing campaigns, but within Gibson Innovations people worked as a start-up. The company was dwindling, but that made her role grow, incorporating European PR, event communications, online marketing. And she loved it. “It challenged me and it helped me grow. I kept learning. In the end Gibson filed for bankruptcy of Gibson Innovations. That was a big shock. But to be honest, I wasn’t worried. We had such a talented, funny and motivated team, we would all be fine.”

In search of new adventure, she posted a message on LinkedIn asking for help in finding a new job. And sure enough, people reached out. One of them was the head of BC&D, saying they had an opening for a social media manager and were struggling to find the right fit. Would she be interested? “I was hesitant at first, but thought there was no harm in having a chat. When I talked to, what was to be my manager, I discovered the role had nearly endless possibilities and you could really help shape it yourself. And the rest is history. I accepted the offer and not long after I was an official member of the Philips family.” 

We have amazing female leaders at Philips and we decided that they should be heard more."

Telling the right stories

Now she works mostly on B2B campaigns on LinkedIn and Twitter but De Bok also works closely with her social counterpart who is more focused on B2C communications through Instagram and Facebook. “I already knew Philips was a leading player when it comes to social media but I was happy to see how much weight it carries within the whole organization. When you talk about social media as a storytelling or sales tool there are still a lot of sceptics. At Philips we see that senior management have truly taken it at face value and are eager to use and explore it.” De Bok has already trained and coached a lot of (senior) leaders in optimizing their Linkedin profile and their usage of the platform. And it pays off. Social selling numbers are impressive as well as the data her department crunches on social statistics as well.

 

But that was not all. “I have always thought Philips had amazing stories. They create these fantastic products that help people live better lives, serve better outcomes in healthcare and help people recover quicker. But somehow when I talk about it to friends and family they have never heard them. Which is such a waste. So for this year we are truly focusing on telling stories. We want to show the world, or at least the Benelux, all the amazing stories that live within the company and also show the amazing people who work here.” An example of the first attempt of the social media managers to help profile the stories within the company came about on International Women’s Day. De Bok: “We have amazing female leaders at Philips and we decided that they should be heard more. We reached out to several of them asking them about their career advice and asking about their lessons learned and they too proved to have amazing stories. As a result we now have some really interesting blogposts about these leaders on our blog and we are already finding new and exciting angles on other stories.”  

Modality specialists

Since starting at Philips the roles within the BC&D team have changed as well. Every senior professional in the team is the marketing and communications lead for a specific modality. Ilona is responsible for IGT, image guided therapy. “I knew about minimally invasive procedures in health care but I didn’t know we have amazing products that help cure the most complex cases. I was most enthused by an interventional radiologist who explained that we provide a sort of Google Maps for the coronary system. This way the specialist can easily see the best and fastest way to reach a blockage.” Of course, there is still much to learn on the complexities of IGT and the business. But so far, Ilona has been able to expand her job description far further than the one she read initially.

 

“I love the fact that we get to shape our own role within the company. Of course you notice it is a big corporation. Sometimes processes are indeed slow but with the right mindset and a healthy dose of energy and enthusiasm, we are able to move mountains. And the best part is, people are really open to ideas, to new approaches and insights. And most of all they are willing to help and encourage you when you do take that plunge and go boldly where no man has gone before. Even if you fail, it is not your fault. It’s the process that was at fault, not you, and you need to find a way to improve that process in order to grow and learn. Since starting here, I have certainly grown and learned a lot.”       

 

Suzanne Verzijden

Ilona de Bok

Social Media Manager, Philips Benelux

 

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