PRWeek Healthcare & Pharma Comms Awards winners: Best Healthcare/Pharma Comms Professional

The winner in this category is Abby Purdy, from Syneos Health Communications.

Just nine years after starting her PR career, Purdy rose to director at Syneos Health Communications - sitting on the senior leadership team and helping define the consultancy's future vision and direction.

Take me back to the Healthcare & Pharma Comms Awards winners page

Purdy achieved significant growth across all her client accounts in 2020, and successfully brought two new clients into her portfolio: leading pitches for both. She delivered 75 per cent of her targeted revenue by June.

Two of Purdy's client campaigns have received particular recognition: her Brexit communications work for Novo Nordisk, which secured more than 326 pieces of coverage, and HS Online for AbbVie. The latter showcased her digital comms capabilities with, for example, a real-time digital dashboard that consistently assessed online performance and enabled the team to adapt the programme accordingly.

Syneos describes Purdy as a natural coach and mentor, taking great pride in supporting the team in their growth and development. She leads the agency’s media team, arranging frequent journalist consultancy sessions and upskilling the team in media relations. Abby also oversees the team’s training, devising an annual programme that addresses key knowledge or skills gaps.

During lockdown, she established a weekly PR newsletter that included both personal and professional highlights from the team to ensure they remain engaged in each other’s work and lives. She was pivotal in organising and instigating social activities – including an online murder mystery – and supporting the team in feeling connected and motivated.

Purdy also supports Syneos Health’s Healthcare Business Women’s Associate partnership, organising events and speaker opportunities to support learning and networking with – and for – peers.

Judge's comment: 

"Abby has demonstrated that she is an all rounder with skills not only in communications but in team management, training, client liaison and supporting the culture of the team during COVID-19."

Highly commended: 

Leigh Greenwood, Evergreen PR

Greenwood launched Evergreen PR as a virtual health consultancy in Nov 2019 with no funding or clients, and since then has proven his abilities. A poll of 20 clients gave him a net promoter score of +82, with 80 per cent "extremely likely" to recommend him. Among Greenwood's strongest campaigns was to secure more tinnitus research funding and position the client, the British Tinnitus Association, as representative of the broad tinnitus community. A combination of a roundtable event featuring politicians and other stakeholders, research, and a manifesto for change, combined with media relations and an online petition, led to concrete results: Health Secretary Matt Hancock publicly agreed to a funding review.

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