Posted on 2021-10-08

Product Communications Lead, Oncology

AstraZeneca Hong Kong Ltd


Product Communications Lead, Oncology is responsible for leading a team of corporate affairs professional supporting each of AstraZeneca's marketed brands and commercial franchises within the Global Oncology Business Unit. This role will lead brand communication strategy including brand-specific and tumour-specific initiatives, newsflow management, data delivery at key tier-1 congresses, working closely with cross-functional partners to integrate government affairs and policy shaping, patient affairs and advocacy activities, among other things. S/He will be an inspirational manager, a trusted counselour and a visionary leader who will position AstraZeneca as a partner of choice among external constituencies in the war against cancer.

As a member of the Oncology Global Corporate Affairs Leadership team, the Product Communications Lead, Oncology will serve as a key leader and advisor across the team, and will collaborate closely across the enterprise (including Global Media Relations, Regulatory, Compliance, Medical Affairs and Investor Relations) to ensure a coordinated and compliant approach to external stakeholder engagement.

The position is ideally based at AstraZeneca's Oncology Business Unit headquarters in the United States, in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Key responsibilities:

  • Be an active member of the Oncology Global Corporate Affairs Leadership Team delivering strategic advice and counsel across the team and across the broader AstraZeneca enterprise as needed.
  • Lead the design and execution of a global corporate affairs strategy for product communications that integrates government affairs and policy shaping activities, and patient affairs and advocacy with the goal of creating a favourable business environment for AstraZeneca's leading Oncology brands.
  • Serve as a counselor, coach and advisor to members of the Leadership Team of the Oncology Business Unit including commercial franchise heads and the EVP with regard to internal and external communications and messaging.
  • Partner with Investor Relations to ensure that financial stakeholders fully appreciate the value, products, pipeline and news flow for the Oncology business.
  • Provide strategic advice to the Oncology leadership team regarding key developments within government, trade associations, NGOs, and related partners.
  • Work with priority in-market pricing and market access teams to achieve commercial goals for AstraZeneca's Oncology products
  • In collaboration with the Global Head of Oncology, Corporate Affairs, the External Communications team and brand leads, develop a proactive, global media strategy for the Oncology business that leverages and promotes major business events and product launches.
  • Anticipate and manage global media issues that may impact the Oncology business. Coordinate media responses in close collaboration with the Global Media Relations.
  • Provide input to the global Oncology business strategy through external stakeholder insights (patient groups, government activity, trade associations, NGOs, policy developments) that may have an impact on the Oncology brands and pipeline.
  • Coach, manage and mentor a globally dispersed team of communications professionals, including talent management and succession planning as well as day-to-day skills development and training.
  • Develop crisis management plans and procedures, and establish an infrastructure to rapidly take action as required.
  • Stay abreast of competitive intelligence and marketplace opportunities and challenges.
  • Provide Oncology executives with a timely assessment of constituent issues and public sentiment along with their bearing on internal and external communications efforts.
  • Ensure coordination and compliance with the global crisis team.
  • Always demonstrate enterprise leadership and role model value-aligned behaviour.

Candidate Focus & Challenge

  • Support, develop and execute a global Corporate Affairs strategy, aiming to establish AstraZeneca as a distinct, emerging leader.
  • Support an integrated approach to milestones, newsflow and activity planning to effectively maximise opportunities and prepare against issues
  • Develop an impactful media relations strategy and a compelling narrative to bring to life our science-led pipeline and life-changing medicines within the portfolio with clear messages and sharp proof points
  • Effectively develop and creatively leverage internal and external communications channels, including traditional and social media, working with 'channel leads' (e.g. Global Internal Communications, Global Media Relations, market comms teams, digital team etc.) as appropriate.
  • Provide sound counsel to Senior Leaders, Investor Relations colleagues and provide effective communications and issues management support to brand leaders, Franchise teams, including media and message training.
  • Support issues preparedness and crisis management to protect brand and company reputation.
  • Identify issues and develop mitigation plans, including scenario planning, appropriate training for key internal stakeholders and issues tracking.
  • Ensure timely communications and alignment on emerging issues across key internal stakeholder groups, including in markets.Support the development and implementation of timely, impactful and content rich internal communications programmes for our medicines and their indications to enhance employee engagement and brand awareness.
  • Effectively manage and deploy agency support through clear objectives, KPIs, continued drive for excellence and innovation in support of the lung cancer franchise.

Candidate Knowledge, Skills & Experience

  • Deep expertise in Oncology is strongly preferred.
  • 10 plus years experience
  • Track record of leading communications teams to deliver tangible results in support of business priorities.
  • A recognised expert in employee, digital and leader communications, campaigns, business partnering, change communication and event management.
  • Strong executive presence and acumen advising C-suite and board-level leaders.
  • Experience managing different stakeholder relationships at all levels.
  • Management of complex issues/crises with international dimensions.
  • Extensive understanding of the AZ business and its operating environment.

Capabilities and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate with working knowledge of global Pharmaceutical market and innovative life sciences environment, ideally in specialty care products
  • Established track-record of delivering impactful, strategic and content rich communications programmes and proactive stakeholder management with demonstrable measures of success.
  • Substantial experience of healthcare communications gained in-house at a leading multinational biopharma company or at a global agency, backed up by deep understanding of regulatory environment, compliance framework, and perspectives of key external stakeholders such as physicians, payers, patients.
  • Significant experience of leading issues management in a similar environment / for global brands/disease areas.
  • Strong media relations experience, including in digital and social media.
  • Strong proven leadership skills and collaborative behaviour required to drive successful delivery against strategy through a broad mix of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Proven management experience
  • Exemplary written and verbal communications skills
  • Creativity and desire to challenge the status quo
  • Think strategically with ability to act flexibly
  • Proven capability to influence and counsel senior leaders and teams across functions and geographical boundaries.
  • Ability to provide effective coaching and guidance to peers and other team members.
  • Ability to work in a global environment including understanding of cultural differences.
  • Ability to combine strategic thinking with hands on delivery.
  • Experience of creating and translating scientific / technical content for a broad range of audiences.

The role will involve travel, as required, to key markets and locations of leading medical congresses.

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognizing their potential. Join us while we continue to build a new kind of organization to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we are developing new ways to work, ground breaking methods, and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our team!

Interested candidates, please click Apply Now   to apply.


AstraZeneca has taken critical steps to protecting colleagues, loved ones, and patients from COVID-19 and its variants. COVID-19 vaccination is required for all US employees, and weekly PCR COVID-19 testing is required for those who are unvaccinated or have an approved accommodation.

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