Abbott Director, Public Affairs - France in Rungis, France

Company Overview:

At Abbott, we're committed to helping you live your best possible life through the power of health. For more than 125 years, we've brought new products and technologies to the world -- in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals -- that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. Today, 99,000 of us are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries we serve.

Job Description:

The Director of Public Affairs role is a key position within the EMEA Regional Team responsible for identifying opportunities, developing strategy, directing and executing external communications programs throughout the countries of responsibility, utilizing both traditional communications vehicles as well as digital and social media channels. The Director, Public Affairs serves as the media spokesperson and generates/leverages corporate/division news to support marketing and reputation initiatives. While this position will be based in France the successful candidate will have oversight and proactive/reactive responsibilities for other European countries.

Specific functions performed include: identifying and developing compelling storylines that can be told via multiple channels; creating storylines to better tell the Abbott story; creating packaged multichannel content to leverage locally, and globally; reputation management; corporate branding; media relations; crisis/issues management; marketing communications; advocacy/professional relations; and working across divisions, with regional leadership, Corporate Public Affairs and Investor Relations, as appropriate.

The Director, Public Affairs must be able to think strategically and provide thoughtful counsel to a broad range of internal and external contacts across all levels of management. The candidate will bring deep understanding of the media landscape in France as well as a solid understanding of the media landscape in Europe; solid external best practices; and has a track record of success in program execution. See the attached Public Affairs Profile.

Core Job Responsibilities:

Emphasis is on working with the EMEA, Division and Corporate Public Relations team, as well as business leaders across the region. This role will support our all businesses in key assigned markets.

  • Strategy Development: Sets overall public relations and communications strategy working with PA division heads and local business leads in assigned markets; Leads Public Affairs efforts by fostering an organizational environment that builds collaborative alliances across the organization. Sets priorities and helps others maintain focus. Works with agencies on strategy alignment.

  • Marketing Communications: Partners with Public Affairs division and commercial colleagues to develop innovative, integrated Public Affairs strategies and tactics that will position our brands positively, drive demand creation and advance our company reputation. Will work with business divisions and individual affiliates to identify opportunities for positive public relations activities, ensuring strategies/tactics meet program goals/deadlines and are consistent with division and corporate policies. Leverage all appropriate communication vehicles to deliver messages and engage consumers, employees and healthcare professionals, including relevant social media channels. Accountable for identifying media influencers and tools to best achieve these results.

  • Media Relations: Works with news media to place positive stories and handle inquiries; serve as spokesperson with media. Coordinate/supervise media visits/interviews with leaders; coach senior executives and third-party spokespeople on delivery of messages.

  • Material Development: Development and approval of messages, press materials and other communications tools including social and on-line media.

  • Issues Management: Identify and anticipate issues and work with appropriate functions to counsel management on reputation/business impact and influence business decision making process. Aligned with divisions, develop issues management plans, and oversee execution of plans.

  • Measurement : Set metrics to measure effectiveness of internal and external communication efforts.

Position Accountability/Scope:

Team Leadership

  • Regularly counsel management and divisions on initiatives/programs/issues.

  • This position reports to the Regional Director of Public Affairs, EMEA, who leads Public Affairs across the region. All PA functions have a line reporting relationship to Corporate Public Affairs. This position works with a broad range of internal and external constituencies across all levels of management and functions at both the corporate and division level, including marketing, legal, regulatory affairs, operations, quality, HR, government affairs, investor relations and finance.

Department Management

  • Oversees contractors and PR agency resources who contribute to department goals. Hires and coordinates efforts of PR agencies across multiple countries.

Education Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree required in journalism, public relations, communications, business, marketing or related field. Advanced degree strongly preferred.

Language Skills & Requirements:

Excellent oral and written skills in both English and French are required.

Experience / Training Required:

  • 12+ years communications or public relations experience, including experience in developing consumer PR campaigns. Background in a highly-regulated industry is preferred.

  • Proven experience in successfully managing issues in the media.

  • Experience developing and implementing media relations and placing stories in top tier publications.

  • Strong ability to develop new relationships with editors and journalists and leverage relationships to engage a company or brand.

  • Proven written, verbal and problem-solving skills and demonstrated success in developing and executing communications that impact reputation. Previous PR experience/responsibilities include: extensive issues management, media strategy, media relationships, social media, stakeholder engagement and PR program development.

  • Demonstrated experience in creation and deployment of successful social media campaigns to meet strategic business objectives is required – 5+ years of experience required.

  • Strong critical thinking skills; ability to synthesize complex information, apply key learnings, build business plans and work in matrix environment are required competencies.

  • Exceptional communication (oral, written, and presentation) and persuasion skills required. Track record of 'achieving results through others' needed.

  • Extensive experience working with senior management is a must. Ability to influence and build relationships and trust with internal clients and other key stakeholders.

  • Experience overseeing PR agencies and leading cross-functional workgroups.

  • At ease in a fast-paced operating environment with numerous, sometimes competing priorities.

  • Experience counseling clients, offering strategic counsel and pushing back on recommendations when necessary.

Employer of Choice:

Through numerous local, national and international accolades, Abbott is regarded as an employer of choice for our commitment to workplace excellence. Our employees are given the tools to succeed, lead and grow, with challenging opportunities and work that makes a difference. Through our diverse healthcare businesses, we connect people and potential in ways that no other company can. Discover a world of opportunities at Abbott.

EEO Statement:

At Abbott, we believe that diversity drives innovation. Abbott employees are representative of the diversity of the patients we strive to serve every single day across the globe.

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Abbot welcomes and encourages diversity in our workforce.

We provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities.

To request accommodation, please call 224-667-4913 or email