Companies grow comms teams

By Megan Brodie 3 years ago | In Companies
  • 3 years ago

17 March 2021

Five companies are on the hunt for additional talent in their communications teams, opening up new opportunities across the sector and a strong indicator of the growing health of the Australian pharmaceutical industry.

AbbVie, GSK, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Recce Pharmaceuticals all have vacancies in their communications teams as they look to beef up the  function for 2021 and beyond, while Medicines Australia has not yet filled its media and communications manager role.

AbbVie is looking for a Director of Corporate Communications and Patient Relations following the resignation of Lisa Maguire, who has moved out of the industry to pursue personal goals.

Reporting directly to General Manager Chris Stemple, the senior director’s role is one of the top positions in the industry and a rare opportunity for a senior communications professional to join AbbVie. The role requires setting strategy, acting as media spokesperson and leading the corporate communications team.

Janssen has two openings in its Communications and Public Affairs team including team Leader for Australia and New Zealand. Reporting to APAC regional head, the role was recently vacated by Todd Stephenson, who has moved to the newly created role of Director, Patient Engagement and Experience.

The role is “responsible for the development and implementation of communication and public affairs strategies that support Janssen’s core therapeutic areas and bring Janssen closer to Johnson & Johnson”.

“This strategic role will require ongoing, proactive and thoughtful assessment of reputational drivers for the pharmaceutical industry in ANZ, as well as external communication needs and channels, and creative application of industry and business knowledge and trends to develop meaningful external communication and public affairs strategies that promote the reputation of the company in the region,” the job ad states.

Janssen is also rejigging its oncology unit, adding a Business Unit Director reporting directly to new Managing Director Biljana Naumovic and a Communications and Public Affairs Manager to “drive business objectives” in oncology.

GSK is looking for a Communications and Government Affairs lead to work on its consumer brands as incumbent Brooke Howard moves to a new role outside of pharma. Based in Sydney, the key focus of the role is to support the leadership team.

“The ANZ Communications and Government Affairs Lead will drive the communications strategy and oversee all communications functions including public relations, issues and media management, as well as be responsible for the execution of GSK Consumer Healthcare’s government affairs strategy in ANZ, ensuring alignment with regional and global strategic priorities,” the job add reads.

AstraZeneca is looking for a Vaccines Communications Manager, reporting to its Head of Communications, Melissa Millard.

“This is a contract until the end of the year (at this stage) with flexibility to be part or full time, for the right candidate,” Ms Millard says, adding she requires communications experience in the local pharmaceutical industry, including issues management, “and be able to respond to tight timelines and a very fast-paced environment”.

The company recently moved Catherine Maxa into the role of Communications and Patient Advocacy Manager as it continues to bolster its communications function to cater for the continued rollout of its vaccine nationally while managing its remaining portfolio and pipeline.

Lastly, ASX-listed Recce Pharmaceuticals is looking for a Communications Coordinator to join its communications team, including domestic and international, with the successful applicant tasked with coordinating the global communications strategy.

Recce is developing and commercialising new classes of synthetic anti-infectives designed to address the issue of antibiotic resistant superbugs and emerging viral pathogens.

The communications function is often one of the first areas slashed when pharma company fortunes are poor, so the significant boost in communications roles across the industry is a sign of good health and bodes well for the year ahead.

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