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Julie Chan

Julie Chan

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TRENDSETTERS: GSK’s Julie Chan Discusses the Need for Fluidity in Communications Planning Today

The Internationalist Trendsetters is written by Deborah Malone, founder of The Internationalist.

Julie Chan believes that now-- more than ever before-- it is important for marketers to understand "fluidity.” A global media expert who is GSK’s Communications Planning Lead for the Pain and Respiratory business categories, she recognizes that the ability to change rapidly must be built into our communications today.

She has drawn these conclusions after watching the charts that illustrate three different future scenarios for COVID-19: recurring small outbreaks, a gigantic second surge, or an on-going persistent crisis.  And while healthcare and government officials have talked about "flattening the curve” of the disease for many months, Julie Chan simply can’t stop thinking about the various predictive curves and their implications for Communications Professionals. 

"The curves,” she says, "help me visualize what we as Comms Planners can do. For example, what if we had one set of messaging for peaks and another for valleys? Would this cause us to look at competition differently? The skill sets needed for our current environment are not the traditional ones we’ve been using for years. While advertisers have incessantly talked about ‘agility;’ now is the time to apply it—perhaps in ways we’ve never considered before.”

To hear more from Julie Chan, tune in to our Trendsetters podcast as she talks about the links between human behavior and comms planning. . . and why we should not use a term like "the new normal.” CLICK HERE.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • Why Julie Chan is "obsessed with the curves."
  • How brands should consider moving forward.
  • Whether the rules of efficiency apply during a pandemic, or if they should be recalculated.
  • What messaging should be communicated now.
  • What’s on the horizon?  
  • Will the behavior changes created during the pandemic remain with us?

Prior to her role at GSK, Julie Chan was Global Consumer Engagement Lead at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, where she was responsible for developing advertising strategies to drive growth for Pfizer’s global consumer brands, including Advil, Centrum, Caltrate, ChapStick and Nexium24HR.

She also spent 13 years at Johnson & Johnson, where she led a team of media professionals responsible for integrated communications, agency oversight and digital marketing for the company’s consumer, pharmaceutical and medical device businesses.

Her extensive communications and digital expertise, gained through management responsibilities in North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, combined with her passion to drive innovation, have enabled her to successfully help build brand value.

Julie Chan was also named an Internationalist of the Year by The Internationalist in 2009 and participated in the ANA’s first playbook on purpose entitled Defining Brand Purpose, which has been downloaded more than 14,000 times. She is a board member of the World Federation of Advertisers as well as the Mobile Marketing Association.