INTERNATIONAL NEWS: AstraZeneca pegs H&K for first Greek work

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.

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’

drugs.



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.



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