Waterhouse recently welcomed Senior Account Director Paula Gitis to the team. A healthcare storyteller and former product marketer specializing in communications, Paula is on a mission to make science accessible to the masses through the power of digital media. As a former coworker of Paula’s from a previous agency and one of her biggest fans, I sat down with her to discuss her passion for science, what inspired her return to the agency world, and why she believes digital communications is the key to making science approachable and exciting for everyone.
We’re so happy you’re here, Paula! Tell us a little about what inspired you to join the Waterhouse team.
I’ve always been curious about the intersection of internal and external marketing, how it plays out in corporate versus employer brand, and the role played in tying them together. Waterhouse lives at this wonderful crossroads – something I first learned when you and I caught up over a fateful breakfast last year. I’ve loved getting to home in and apply structured thinking to the intersection of internal and external marketing. I also get to do one of the things I love most: bring science to life with fun digital activations. It’s not just about helping a company tell its story – it’s about building love and appreciation of science, externally as well as within teams that truly celebrate what each individual brings to the table.
Your academic training was in biology, and you spent your early career in agency before pivoting to product marketing and communications. Tell us about what you’ve learned through your career journey and your return to the agency world.
I’ve always been fascinated by science and the human body. I was in college when I was first exposed to the mismatch between scientific literature and the way people digest information. We (all of us as a society but especially marketers and communicators) have a responsibility to make science more approachable. I think that’s been the motivating throughline in my career: diving deep into complex topics and then coming back up for air with a crisp and compelling story that people can connect with. We see in the way people consume media that scientific and fact-based storytelling is needed more urgently than ever, and I believe digital marketing and communications are the key.
Truthfully, I was on the fence about going back to agency, but I’m so glad I did. At Waterhouse I approach agency life in a fresh way, and I’m making it my mission to not just deliver outstanding work but also – and just as important – partner with our clients to deeply understand the ROI and business impact. Of course, I missed the challenge, broad exposure, and access to best practices that agency life provides, but every day our team reminds me that it’s the people who make or break our work experiences, and I feel really lucky to work with this group!
You’ve touched before on the fact that internal communications is an often-neglected focus area. How has it affected your view of the work you’re doing at Waterhouse now?
Throughout my career, I’ve noticed that internal communications as a function is often undervalued, but when approached purposefully and strategically, it can serve as an engine for employee engagement. In today’s workplace climate especially – with “the great reshuffle” and blurred boundaries between home and office – people are keenly aware of what else is out there, and it’s increasingly important that employees feel aligned and connected with their employer’s corporate strategy. We need to know – and truly believe – that our work is driving toward something bigger. It’s a disservice to all parties when connecting the dots falls to one person who’s doing this off the side of their desk. As for Waterhouse, our clients experience the benefits of aligned corporate/employer brand strategies – because investing in people pays off!
Waterhouse has three core values – Lead the Way, Partner for Success, and Deliver Extraordinary. In your short time at our firm, which one resonates with you the most?
I gravitate toward Lead the Way because it connects to my perspective on personal accountability. I believe that success is likelier when we have a personal stake in something and feel invested in its outcome. I’ve done my best work when empowered with more responsibility.
The Lightening Round
What is your favorite day of the week?
Saturday – I love to go on a long morning walk with my dogs and discover new coffee places in Oakland.
Most desired superhero trait: invisibility or super strength?
Physical super strength.
What place would you most like to travel to?
Vietnamese food is my favorite, so Vietnam is next on my list.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
My most recent obsession is cookies and cream, ideally in an ice cream sandwich.
A warm welcome to Paula on behalf of everyone at Waterhouse Brands!
To learn more about Paula, connect with her on LinkedIn: