Astellas Pharmaceutical Jobs

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Astellas Pharma Associate Director, Product Communications and Media Relations in Northbrook, Illinois

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at

This position is based in Northbrook, Illinois, however remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas' Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose & Scope:

The Associate Director is responsible for product and external communications, is a communications expert, with a depth of knowledge and leadership in dealing with traditional and social media in a spokesperson and strategist role as well as experience in pharmaceutical product marketing. The candidate should have a depth of knowledge around the evolving digital space. They should also have a solid understanding of product communications in the United States, including how products influence and impact brand and reputation. This is a new role, and the incoming candidate will have a chance to help shape the role, so overall general experience in a pharmaceutical or health care organization is desired. That in mind, the role will focus on product communications in a highly regulated environment. The ideal candidate will also have experience in media relations and working with senior leaders. The role liaises and collaborates with communication partners. The successful candidate will know how to put together a communications plan/cascade and execute it across both internal and external channels. It's important that our employees are engaged and feel educated on our product and therapeutic areas. Finally, the successful candidate will be comfortable with working in an environment that is evolving.

This position will support business objectives with engaging, creative, timely and effective communications solutions that support products and the business. Accountable for building strong and collaborative relationships within the US region. Requires the ability to provide communications counsel across multi-disciplinary teams.

Core Tasks, Responsibilities and Authority:

  1. Support our products across the US region
  • Work with and provide strategic counsel to Therapeutic Area product teams to support our product portfolio across the US region

  • Liaise with the product communications team as needed to ensure a coordinated approach to publicizing the release of R&D/clinical data milestones, patient education programming, disease-state awareness and digital influencer campaigns.

  • Align with global product strategies to ensure the best execution across US channels -- internal and external

  • Research and provide best-practice, cutting-edge examples of compliant product marketing; look outward to see what others are doing

  • Provide counsel to global product teams about the needs of the US region

  • Ensure employees are informed and engaged in product-related communications

  1. Build trust and corporate image externally
  • Drive a positive conversation about Astellas across traditional and social media. Serve as a public face to the company, including as media spokesperson.

  • Support the company to build and maintain good relationships with media, digital opinion leaders, industry, government bodies, customers and the general public in order to maintain a positive view of the company and its products.

  • Plan and implement external-facing strategic communications program annually that engages wider stakeholder audiences such as patient groups, business and media.

  • Support senior management to maximize on media and awards opportunities.

  • Manage the development of corporate materials which will support the company profile and company organized media events such as press conferences /media interviews (materials such as press releases, Q&As, key message documents, press packs, brochures, corporate advertising).

  1. External communications
  • Serve as media spokesperson for US media

  • Develop and execute streamlined, consistent internal and external commercialwide digital communications strategies, platforms, channels and measurement framework

  1. Issues/ crisis management
  • Support Communications and Business leadership to execute communications in the event of any form of crisis to minimize negative media coverage, including maintaining the US Commercial Markets Crisis Manual up-to-date and making revisions as necessary.

  • Liaise with appropriate internal teams to manage issue response

  • Monitor internal feedback and external media coverage when an issue/crisis occurs

  • Ensure internal audiences are informed as appropriate

  1. Executive communications counsel
  • Provides senior strategic communications counsel to internal business partners and other team members, including the development of communications plans and tactics that support key initiatives, events and crises.

  • Provides strategic guidance to the executive management team and business line owners in developing the most effective ways to communicate key messages to internal audiences.

  • Works collaboratively with other parts of the Astellas organization to align communications and ensure consistency and increase effectiveness of messages within functions and across the organization.

Mandatory Compliance requirements:

To act as subject matter expert and trusted advisor to equip and enable personnel to understand and strictly adhere to the Astellas Group Code of Conduct and associated policies and procedures and other applicable laws and regulations.

To fully understand, comply with, and challenge as appropriate. To raise any concerns in a timely manner with the relevant manager(s) including reference to the Ethics and Compliance team and/or Ethics and Compliance Helpdesk. Regularly undertake and refresh mandatory Ethics and Compliance training in order to maintain knowledge and expertise to enable informed consent and personal accountability.

Comply with the Astellas Way and Astellas Competences, in terms of expected values and behaviors, Astellas' HR policies, procedures and guidelines.

Quantitative Dimensions:

Manage project-related budgets as needed

Interpersonal Relationships:


  • Employees at all levels within US Commercial Markets

  • Senior management throughout the company

  • Legal/Compliance and Medical signatories

  • Global Headquarters as needed


  • External suppliers and consultants

  • Professional and Regulatory bodies

  • Media (both traditional and digital -- top tier and trade)

  • Patient groups/ NGOs

Specific Physical Abilities:

Willing and able to undertake some travel

Specific Environmental Factors:

Aligned to US-C regional headquarters in Northbrook, IL. Willing to work additional hours as required by the business.

Professional Profile:


Customer Focus:

  • Fosters a culture where everything is done to enhance value to patients. Intentional about meeting/exceeding customer expectations (internal/external)

  • Strategic Orientation: thinks beyond tactics

  • Considers broader picture and embeds a 'best practice' culture to increase operational performance within a multi-cultural, matrixed organization.

Innovation and Change:

  • Acts as ambassador for change; proactively fosters a continuous improvement and ideas generation culture.

  • Secures commitment from peers/colleagues to adopt new work processes, systems, and approaches to embed change.

Results Orientation:

  • Demonstrates personal accountability for business performance (unit/function); consistently delivers high performance results addressing risks/obstacles in a constructive manner.

  • Proactively supports team/colleagues to deliver effectively; sets clear expectations, priorities, and objectives utilizing resources for optimum performance.

  • Demonstrates integrity, sound judgment and decision-making skills. Addresses non-compliance.

  • IT literate; able to use MS Office and virtual collaboration tools, database, compliance systems/applications, online knowledge repositories etc.

Communication & Collaboration:

  • Strong collaborative skills: able to work cross-functionally and with virtual teams, to build trust, commitment and engagement. Adjusts approach to secure a positive and respectful outcome.

  • Regularly seeks and provides constructive feedback with due recognition for individual contribution.

  • Ability to deliver management reports and metrics and give formal presentations and updates to diverse audience(s) (e.g. compliance, training, corrective actions, qualitative/quantitative updates etc.).

Developing & Inspiring:

  • Inspires others by leading through example

  • Demonstrates best practices and creative innovation

Working as One Astellas:

  • Acts as an ambassador of ethics and compliance; incorporates cross-cultural perspective when addressing challenging situations.

  • Creates an environment which fosters mutual respect, integrity and value.


  • BS or BA Degree or Equivalent in journalism, communications or related field

  • Minimum of 8+ years of increasing corporate communications or public relations experience

  • Blue chip experience (Pharma strongly preferred) with strong customer focus; in multi-disciplinary, matrix and cross-cultural settings.

  • Experience in pharmaceutical product or device strategy and communications

  • Experience in the media or media management

  • Corporate communications or public relations experience

  • Experience providing effective strategic counsel to senior management, including President/CEO and HR

  • Ability to be a flexible team player with the highest ethical and business standards

  • Experience of managing agencies

  • Demonstrable experience of developing robust communications strategies that support internal and externalengagement

  • Proven ability to be visionary, innovative, creative and experience in new communications trends, with a proven track record in providing confident, persuasive and appropriate communications counsel to senior leaders

  • Credible dealing with top/senior management and key stakeholders

  • Self-starter, able to initiate, drive and share strategic communications initiatives

  • Flexible and solutions driven approach to work

  • Customer focused approach - working closely with internal stakeholders to ensure joint projects / programs align with the objectives set out

  • Strong strategic thinking and problem-solving skills

  • Able to work in a changing environment

  • Ability to retain and manage confidential information effectively

  • BSc degree or equivalent in journalism communications or related field is required

  • Awareness and understanding of the US codes of practice and how they apply to Communications

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skill

  • Professional copy writing experience in public relations Able to perform under pressure

  • Willing to work overtime if the workload requires

  • Able to manage competing demands and manage priorities

Benefits :

  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program


Category Communications

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans