ATHENS: Global pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca has tapped Hill & Knowlton as its first corporate PR agency in Greece.
ATHENS: Global pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca has tapped Hill &
Knowlton as its first corporate PR agency in Greece.
The agency begins work this month on a one-year contract and has been
charged with positioning the company as a responsible corporate citizen,
rather than simply a manufacturer of drugs.
Such repositioning efforts are becoming increasingly common for large
pharmaceutical companies now that consumers are beginning to ask for
specific treatments by name. With a stronger brand image, firms such as
AstraZeneca will have less difficulty launching so-called ’blockbuster’
H&K won the business over Burson-Marsteller affiliate PR Team as well as
three local Greek agencies. In the past, AstraZeneca has used PR
agencies for product PR in Greece, but the firm has never before
employed a corporate PR agency.
H&K is planning to capitalize on AstraZeneca’s existing community
involvement programs in Greece, through which the company sponsors
various health institutions. Among them are the autism department of the
Daou Penteli hospital in Athens and a school for children with special
needs on the island of Mitilini.
H&K’s mission also involves some internal and crisis communications
work. The account will be led by H&K Greece managing director Robert
Hipkins, and the public relations team will report to AstraZeneca Greece
chief executive Christer Timelin.