Abbott Laboratories - Senior Manager Public Affairs/Communications

At Abbott, we’re committed to helping you live your best possible life through the power of health. For more than 125 years, we’ve brought new products and technologies to the world –in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals – that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. Today, 99,000 employees are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries.

Job Description:

The Senior Manager, Public Affairs/Communications - Emerging Markets, is part of Abbott’s global Public Affairs team and will support Abbott’s pharmaceutical business EPD. The senior manager, based in Basel, Switzerland, is responsible for identifying opportunities, developing strategy and managing the execution of internal and external corporate communications programs to protect and enhance Abbott's reputation. The Senior Manager must be able to think strategically and provide thoughtful counsel to a broad range of internal and external contacts across all levels of management and in a fast-paced international environment. The candidate will bring deep understanding of the media landscape, external best practice and has a track record of success in program execution. The Senior Manager is responsible for the supervision of public relations firms and management of internal client relationships to help execute communications programming. Responsibilities include serving as a company spokesperson on business activities, issues and performance. Lends support to the creation and execution of overall EPD and Abbott communication activities.

Core Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop strategic communications and competitive positioning for the business to enhance visibility of the company and protect company reputation.

  • Develops and oversees development of messages, press materials and other communications tools, including social and online media.

  • Works with national and international media as a spokesperson, especially in business press. Coaches senior divisional executives and third-party spokespeople on delivery of messages.

  • Identifies and anticipates issues and works with appropriate functions to counsel management on reputation/business impact and influence business decision making process. Develop issues management plans and oversee execution of plans.

  • Develop strategy and oversee execution for PR programming for product/brand/program. Oversee PR agency teams that assist with planning and execution.

  • Interfaces with various division and corporate constituencies, including government affairs, investor relations, legal, marketing, medical and senior management. Counsels and coaches country/regional Public Affairs teams and Affiliate General Managers on communication activities to support the local or regional pharmaceuticals business.

  • Develops strategic executive communications to support engagement of Abbott’s pharmaceutical employees globally.

  • Establishes and maintains a strong internal and external network to incorporate and lead adoption of best practice in the business and companywide. Work closely with Corporate and other divisions to ensure sharing of best practice and learning.

Position Accountability/Scope:

The senior manager reports to the Global Director of Public Affairs for Abbott’s pharmaceutical business.

All division PA functions have a line reporting relationship to Corporate Public Affairs. This position works with a broad range of internal and external constituencies across all levels of management and functions at both the corporate and division level, including marketing, legal, regulatory affairs, operations, quality, HR, government affairs, investor relations and finance. The senior manager also maintains budget responsibility for PR programming within their scope of work at the division level.

Education Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree required in journalism, public relations, communications, business, marketing or related field. Advanced degree strongly preferred.

Experience / Training Required:

  • 12+ years communications or public relations experience, including experience in corporate communications. Consumer healthcare experience strongly preferred.

  • Proven writing, verbal and problem-solving skills and demonstrated success in developing and executing communications that impact reputation. Previous PR experience/responsibilities include: extensive issues management, media strategy, media relationships, social media, stakeholder engagement and PR program development.

  • Direct experience with media relations. Proven writing, verbal and problem-solving skills and demonstrated success in developing and executing communications impacting reputation.

  • Experience in creation and deployment of successful social media campaigns to meet strategic business objectives is preferred.

  • Strong critical thinking skills; ability to synthesize complex information, apply learnings, build business plans and work in matrix environment are required competencies.

  • Exceptional communication (oral, written, and presentation) and persuasion skills required. Track record of 'achieving results through others' needed.

  • Extensive experience working with senior management a must. Ability to influence and build relationships and trust with internal clients, media and other key stakeholders.

  • Experience overseeing PR agencies and leading cross-functional workgroups.

  • At ease in a fast-paced operating environment with numerous, sometimes competing priorities.

  • Experience counseling clients, offering strategic counsel and pushing back on recommendations when necessary.

  • Experience working in an international/multi-cultural environment and with emerging markets preferred. Knowledge of pharmaceutical industry will be considered, but not necessary.

  • Must have excellent written and oral skills in English (working language); proficiency in other languages – especially German, Spanish or Russian – considered an advantage.

Employer of Choice:

Through numerous local, national and international accolades, Abbott is regarded as an employer of choice for our commitment to workplace excellence. Our employees are given the tools to succeed, lead and grow, with challenging opportunities and work that makes a difference. Through our diverse healthcare businesses, we connect people and potential in ways that no other company can. Discover a world of opportunities at Abbott.