Director, Respiratory External Communications
The Director will design the external communications strategy in the US to support the commercial team's objectives and raise awareness of GSK's respiratory heritage and leadership.
A significant focus of this role is overseeing the development and execution of the media relations and communications plans tailored to the US marketplace, while aligning with and amplifying global communications strategy.
The Director will oversee the implementation of tactical plans, by managing our PR agency partner, to secure positive recognition and media coverage for GSK's leadership that highlights product, policy and business milestones (data announcements, as well as policy and regulatory decisions). The Director will also shape the story to explain the strategy, vision and leadership of GSK in disease prevention across COPD and Asthma.
• Primary Responsibilities: Lead the development and execution of portfolio-wide external product communications plans in the US with an emphasis on COPD (Trelegy/Anoro) and Asthma (Breo & Nucala). Handle top-tier proactive and reactive media relations. Provide communications counsel and strategic direction to senior leaders and business decision makers. Manage issues preparation and management and ensure that they are linked up with global and US product comms process.
• Communications Planning: Ensure an effective annual communications planning process for Respiratory in the US, as well as provide insight and input about the communications implications of proposed business actions. Communications plans should have measurable impact on priority audiences and corporate milestones relevant to the US, maximize corporate digital channels, and increase recognition for brand priorities. Activities may include support for policy and advocacy community events; disease awareness campaigns/conferences/medical meetings where data is presented; identifying and supporting key external speaking engagements for senior medical and commercial leaders; and preparing speeches, op-eds, social media content and other communications.
• External Environment Awareness: Track, monitor and analyze news to understand the evolving external environment, competitor activities, and who in the media is writing about them. Take a lead role in sharing and acting upon this information with global colleagues, business leadership and other relevant internal stakeholders.
• Stakeholder Outreach: Implement a structured approach towards stakeholder management to ensure alignment with colleagues in key functions across GSK - including government relations, public policy, commercial, medical, and the global franchise - to ensure seamless delivery of communications objectives. Work across US and global communications to ensure consistency of messages.
• Media Relations: Direct and implement a relationship management program with target journalists who write about GSK and respiratory issues, including top-tier journalists and online media. Build and manage a relationship program with journalists, editors and other key stakeholders who cover Respiratory, pharmaceutical issues, pharmacy, and healthcare (e.g. top tier media, bloggers, digitally native). Serve as the point of contact for targeted print, wire, broadcast and online journalists who write about Respiratory and the disease areas we focus on (COPD & Asthma).
• Materials Development: Develop and gain approval for communications materials (Q&A's, key messages, press releases, etc.) for external and internal distribution.
• Issues/Crisis Management: Help develop crisis communications plans, run simulation exercises, and develop messaging and response plans. Serve as a contact point for liaising with the press on key product communications issues.
• Metrics: Develop effective metrics and incorporate them into communications plans to evaluate communications effectiveness and return on investment.
• Matrix Team-working: Build strong working relationships and work seamlessly with US commercial teams and business leadership, as well as the global commercial team where relevant, to support business objectives with strategic communications. Coordinate media activities and messages with key internal communications groups, including US-based investor relations, Corporate and global communications teams. Consider internal communications planning and materials for all external media activities/issues, working with the Respiratory Internal Comms and USP Enterprise/Internal Communications Teams and the Digital Media Team for development/distribution of information to the employee audience.
• PR Agency Management: Work with PR agency and other agency partners as needed to develop and execute tactical media and communications plans.
• Team Support: Support the Head of US Pharma communications as needed/on a project basis.
Breadth/ Scope of Accountability
Provide details of any scope data relevant to the role e.g. the net sales that the role supports / generates or budget responsibility.
The role requires critical thinking and a broad creative skillset, to shape and tell a compelling story, leveraging external trends and other business drivers that make GSK a leader in this area. The role also must align with the annual marketing strategy focus and priorities, while supporting the entire portfolio and the business as a whole. The role will set the direction for Respiratory-wide communications initiatives and leverage global programs where appropriate for the US context. The role will liaise regularly with medical affairs in addition to policy, advocacy and government relations teams to maximize successful external relations. The Director will be responsible for managing issues and reactive communications tied to the entire US portfolio.
Bachelors degree in communications or liberal arts focus ( English/writing, government/history,)
• 10+ years of relevant communications experience, in product communications and/or in bio-pharmaceutical industry, with a combination of both agency and in-house experience.
• Excellent verbal and written communications skills; strong and versatile writing skills with proven experience in developing clear, concise plans in addition to persuasive materials under tight deadlines
• Demonstrated experience developing and executing strategic plans that span primary external communications channels (traditional/social media, conferences, external experts) providing strategic counsel and translating complex science into compelling stories.
• Crisis/issue management experience, knowledge of key regulatory milestones
• Ability to recognize the "big picture" and develop strategy that fits within that framework.
• Familiarity with metrics-based communications planning, media strategy, and stakeholder relationship approaches
• Experience managing teams and developing communicators; adept at working across matrix organizations
• Good understanding of pharmaceutical and healthcare industry issues, competitive landscape and political environment
• Articulate spokesperson with demonstrated ability to work with media and manage reporter relationships; experience pitching and communicating confidently with top-tier national media, as well as regional, local and trade media
• Excellent knowledge of media drivers and practices; ability to use that information to inform judgment on communications strategies and tactics
• Excellent teamwork skills to work effectively with Corporate Communications, multiple business units, and multiple divisions; ability to exert influence in this matrix environment without reporting line authority
• Good project management skills and ability to independently manage multiple projects simultaneously
• Knowledge of social media environment and ability to engage effectively to advance external communications strategies
• Strong sense of urgency and ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure
At GSK, our mission is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. Our three world-leading businesses research and deliver innovative medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. We need a talented and motivated workforce to deliver against our strategy. To achieve this, we strive to attract the best people and to create an environment that empowers and inspires.
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