Regional Communications and Advocacy Associate Director, EU Central
Regional Communications and Advocacy Associate Director
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. We discovered and developed the first medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development sites and offices around the world. For several consecutive years, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences.
You will be responsible for leading communications activities related to Vertex’s cystic fibrosis (CF) portfolio in the company’s Europe Central region, which consists of the France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg.
The primary responsibility will be leading country-level reimbursement and launch communications activities for the company’s CF medicines ORKAMBI and KALYDECO in countries included in the Europe Central region with a specific and direct responsibility of communication activities for France. S/he will be responsible for the development and implementation of integrated external and internal communications strategies that engage and influence stakeholders; protect and enhance the reputation of Vertex in the region; and support the company’s continued growth in the region. S/he will also be responsible for strategically developing and solidifying long-term partnerships with CF patient organizations within these countries.
S/he will report to the Head of Europe Central Corporate Affairs department, based in Paris and will be accountable to the Europe Central Regional General Manager and will work closely with the Europe Central Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) lead.
- Develop and execute country-level plans and programs to communicate about the company and our medicines with input from local country team;
- Oversight of communications and advocacy activities in the Europe Central region and management responsibility for Europe Central communications and advocacy;
- Collaborate with international communications team and cross-functional colleagues (GAPP, market access, commercial, medical affairs, etc.) to ensure integration and alignment of local country initiatives with corporate and international communications plans;
- Provide strategic communications and advocacy counsel to cross-functional regional leadership team;
- Establish and maintain relationships with key regional healthcare, business and trade reporters; train and coach company spokespeople in each country and serve as media spokesperson;
- Help oversee traditional and social media monitoring processes in the region, including identifying and tracking key media influencers, and monitoring social media real-time and assessing, triaging and helping resolve issues arising from social media, as appropriate;
- Manage communications and advocacy agencies and budgets in support of local initiatives and needs;
- Work with cross-functional colleagues, including the HR and internal communications teams, to support employee engagement and internal initiatives, such as employee activities, internal company newsletter and annual corporate-wide day of service;
- Lead strategic development, execution and ongoing evaluation of patient advocacy and community engagement activities and initiatives for the region, and ensure alignment with local country activities and broader corporate strategy;
- Represent Vertex by serving as a key point of contact with patient organizations in France and in Europe Central region in the CF and rare disease communities, establishing and maintaining collaborative, mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships and trust
- Extensive experience in biotech/PR communications;
- Ability and willingness to travel;
- Experience in-house at another pharmaceutical/biotech company and/or at a communications agency required.
- Strong understanding of the pharmaceutical/biotech business model, regulatory and reimbursement processes and communications guidelines and market access environment;
- Experience managing PR activities for rare diseases and/or orphan medicines;
- High level of understanding of France and Europe Central region media, political and economic landscapes, decision-making processes and procedures;
- Extensive experience dealing with national and local lay, professional/trade and social media;
- Developing and implementing external communications plans for medicines at all stages of the life cycle, including the reimbursement process;
- Proven ability to anticipate communications needs based on the lifecycle of a product and competitive landscape and an ability to adapt one’s approach to a challenge;
- Outstanding verbal and written communications skills;
- Strong collaboration, negotiation and influencing skills; strong interpersonal skills; a team player;
- Ability to deliver results with limited direction and guidance and on tight deadlines; a self-starter;
- Ability to succeed in a fast-paced environment with multiple, competing priorities;
- Willingness to think creatively and test new and unproven communications and advocacy initiatives, tools, etc.;
- Ability to manage relationships with a high number of key external customers, including patient groups representatives, media and medical experts;
- Experience working in similar role within another biotech or pharmaceutical company;
- Ability to exercise a high level of independent judgment even in challenging, complex situations.