As the wind of digitalisation spreads wider every year, the need of high standard social media and excellent content is necessary to fly a company forward. Sofia Pyrgioti is our Content and Social Media Specialist; she keeps us up to date all year round and tells us not only about her inspiring self but about the challenges digitalising healthcare and entering new markets
What do you do at Visiba Care?
I am the content and social media specialist. What is quite different with me at Visiba Care is that I am the only English-speaker here in Sweden and also means I work mainly with our UK account.
What does it mean to be a content and social media specialist?
I will use a phrase a colleague used for me in my previous job. She called me Captain English. Anything that has to do with an English text that comes out of Visiba Care, in some way has my meddling. Apart from that, I manage our English social media channels and paid campaigns as well as our digital marketing, and web flows.
How is the market different in the UK compared to Sweden?
The NHS is a much larger and older organisation than most healthcare providers in Sweden – that, of course, means that the emerging structure is different, and things may be a bit slower. But you know that when they get ‘there’, they get there fast. I’d also say that Sweden is slightly more digitally mature than the UK or at the very least, the infrastructure is more contemporary. Then, of course, the UK has 6 times the population of Sweden and that is reflected on their healthcare system too. And finally, there is another sort of emotional attachment that the Brits have with the NHS, a sense of history and pride, that I at least have not seen in Sweden.
What are the biggest challenges entering new countries for the marketing team?
I would have to say resources. As a marketing team, we are text-people and our messaging heavily reliies on text. Of course, text is intertwined with language, and if you don’t have the language, it is hard to convey the same nuances – you need a native speaker to do that. Then, there’s always the challenge of getting the feel of what the new market wants and finding a balance between staying true to the brand, your positioning, and your messaging and adapting to the needs of the new market.
How do you experience the digitalisation of healthcare? Necessary? Difficult?
All of the above! It is ultimately a matter of taking a decision and this is not easy for most people – so I completely understand why it’s a complicated process. We need to remember as well that we are on the other side of digitalisation – we have seen what it leads to so there is no uncertainty for us that digital will be the new normal very soon. But when you are uncertain, it is natural to hesitate. Our job is to reassure the people making these decisions that it is a true benefit for everyone and tell them that (true) story. I think that, since healthcare in Europe is most of the times publicly funded, there is little ‘competition’ so to speak, and not the same market pressure to keep up with the other industries and optimise their services. But we’re getting there!
What is your experience prior Visiba Care? How did you end up in Sweden?
I studied philology which is the study of scripts. So, I studied ancient, mid-eval and modern literature. I felt it was a bit abstract, so I minored in linguistics. After I got my degree, I realised that there is no career path that fit me and I knew that I wanted to leave Greece because it was not the place for me to build a life. So, I took a grand tour of countries I wanted to visit in Europe and might move to and I completely fell in love with Gothenburg. I had kind of a reversed process where I decided for Gothenburg and then investigated universities here because this is where I wanted to be. I then did my Master’s in communication. I was previously a columnist which is a difficult profession since you are always dealing with a blank paper. From here I started to investigate marketing, and then worked at Greenbyte as a marketing coordinator – start-up where I pretty much did everything within ‘marketing’. I did not feel that I was used in the best way to create value which I am kind of obsessed with. This led me to start looking for jobs where I could be used in the best way for the company to profit. I found Visiba Care and applied, got here for my interview, and fell in love.
What made you fall in love with Visiba Care?
I loved the fact that there was a high-positioned role called Head of people & culture as I think culture is extremely important. Even more important than the industry itself, for me at least. I also find it very important to have a good manager and I felt straight away that me and my manager, Cornelia, had a good connection and were fully aligned on our vision of what marketing is. At that point, I felt that I belong here, and I can grow here. My time here has confirmed just that, I do not see myself going anywhere for a very long time.
If you compare your expectations and your work, has it changed since you first started and now? And is anything of this also related to the coronavirus pandemic?
Since I came with a wide set of skills within marketing, I touched quite a lot of things apart from content and social media, which aligns with who I am: I love to help and feel valuable. I have no problem to expand my role and of course, this is something you can expect from a start-up as well. That was a bit of a broadening from the beginning. I see myself as a quick performer, but I also need time for headspace, which was not available when the Covid-19 came. Everything that we did became very urgent and I think we did a good job, but I could feel that I did not have the same time to work on my craft.
How do you live your life outside work? If we go back before the virus changed our situation.
I am a beach hippie, I need time every year to just live on the beach, fish my own food, this is where I blend in and feel a part of the world. I started to go to the gym quite a lot which is nice, and I also value my friendships a lot. We have common interests and similar jobs so we can talk about the bigger picture of what we do outside work, which can be very helpful. Besides from that I love Netflix, pizza, and stand-up comedy. I spend hours watching stand-up comedy and some of my favourite’s comedians are Bill Hicks and Sarah Silverman. After hearing the male version for so many years I am leaning towards female comedians as I want to hear another perspective which Sarah Silverman does great.
Can you tell me something weird about yourself?
I am severely double-jointed ha-ha! I also have a phobia for penguins which people most of the time find funny, but it is not. It is super real. Another thing is that I do not have a sweet tooth and I am a map and vexillology enthusiast. Vexillology is the study of flags and I know -probably- every flag of the world.