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Facing a surging demand for its Covid vaccine in June 2021—as well as all the issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy—pharma giant Moderna needed an experienced healthcare communications professional at the helm of its communications team, and turned to Kate Cronin, former Ogilvy Health CEO as its chief brand officer, responsible for guiding its communications at a time of immense growth.
Cronin assumes the newly created role after 17 years at Ogilvy, having been appointed CEO of integrated agency Ogilvy Health in 2020. Cronin previously held a number of roles within Ogilvy including Ogilvy Public Relations global healthcare practice lead, managing director of Ogilvy PR’s New York office, and co-president of Ogilvy Health in the US. During her tenure, she led campaigns for some of Ogilvy’s largest health clients including BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck and Pfizer.
Prior to Ogilvy. Cronin held roles in healthcare public relations at Porter Novelli and specialist agency Wang Associates.
Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Throughout my career it has impacted performance. When we launched OTC Tagamet, we were able to tie first week sales directly to PR because advertising wasn't launched. Also, PR helped save Celebrex when Vioxx was pulled from the market.
What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
How is the industry evolving to connect with stakeholders in a stronger way through the metaverse and other new ecosystems.
What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
Resilience. PR did well when others did not.
What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
That we still struggle with DE&I and making it happen.
How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?
I hiked, did online workouts and then went back to the gym. Moved to Vermont and went skiing
Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?
Netflix/Bridgerton; ‘Bad Blood’, a book about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos; Succession on HBO.
If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Sum up 2022 in one word.
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