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MY EXPERIENCE

I’ve worked on the corporate, agency and non-profit sides of communications for 17 years directing, developing, managing and implementing internal and external communications, public relations, and social media communications strategies for various healthcare organizations (pharma, biotech, clinical trial/patient recruitment, medical devices, medical journals, hospitals, and health systems), to drive messages to public audiences via newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, online, mobile, and digital media. My work includes brand communications, media relations, social media communications, media training, broadcast communications, speech writing, event planning/management, crisis/advocacy communications and measurement.

I’ve worked on campaigns and programs of all sizes (globally, nationally and regionally) developing and implementing a broad range of strategies and programs that raise awareness, create a positive image, and strengthen a brand.

From launching pharmaceutical drugs (both over-the-counter and prescription) and medical devices, to raising awareness of breaking medical news in the world’s most widely cited peer-reviewed specialty medical journal, to bringing attention to the latest advancements in radiation therapy, to enrolling patients into rare clinical trials…. This is the type of communications and public relations work I’ve done over the years; work that I really love doing.

I have always had a passion in working with the news media and considered myself a media relations “artist” because I really had a knack and expertise for working with and holding media relationships. But about five years ago my work in this area naturally segued into the social media communications space and I’m experienced in developing and managing programs that work in tandem of both communication channels (an integrated approach!). I believe that social media communications work is a true public relations function and that it requires a certain type of expertise from various public relations and communication disciplines really; experience which I have.

I’ve held some pretty cool positions throughout my career. Prior to starting Fazzina & Co. Communications Consulting, Inc., I had a stint as Vice President of Business Development/Healthcare, at On The Scene Productions, Inc., a broadcast communications firm that was well-known for 20+ years for their excellent work in healthcare broadcast communications (I was also their client four years in a nationally recognized, award-winning medical broadcast news series).  I was also the Director of Public Relations at MediciGlobal, a patient recruitment organization, where I was recruited by the company’s CEO to develop, direct and manage global public relations and social media communications programs for patient recruitment programs and clinical research studies for a number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis and Acadia Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to these positions, I held public relations and corporate communications positions with Cancer Treatment Centers of America, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, and the American College of Physicians, the nation’s largest medical specialty society (internal medicine). In this position, I received a number of industry awards and was largely responsible for the ongoing media relations of the organization and broadcast media outreach of its journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world. I’ve  also worked on the agency side of public relations, at top worldwide agencies such as Ruder-Finn, and Porter Novelli in New York, and Earle-Palmer-Brown in Philadelphia. At these agencies I developed, managed and implemented healthcare communications and media relations programs for companies such as Schering-Plough, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, SmithKline Beecham and Neuromedical Systems Inc. in the areas of areas of oncology, neurology, cardiology, immunology, rheumatology, endocrinology. I was also consultant for a U.S. based national chiropractic organization, assisting chiropractors to achieve a better understanding among the public about their role in healthcare.

I am always tackling something whether for a client or extracurricular-wise, and I’ve been known as a driving force in the healthcare public relations industry for many years; always giving 110% to advance the industry and the profession. I’ve held a leadership role on the Executive Committee (formerly the ‘Board of Directors’) of the Public Relations Society of America’s Health Academy since 2003 and I am currently the organization’s Chair-Elect. Over the past eight years, I’ve chaired the organization’s Communications, Promotions, Marketing, Sponsorship, Social Media and Annual Conference Committees. In my first year as Sponsorship Chair, I nearly doubled the sponsor revenue from the previous year. In 2005 I was honored with the organization’s 2005 Volunteer of the Year Award for making meaningful contributions to the mission of the organization and enhancing the healthcare public relations profession. I also Co-Chaired the organization’s 2009 annual conference: “Leveraging Social Media in Health Care Public Relations: Innovations & Strategies for Enhanced Consumer Engagement.” This was a very successful national event and in an economy where conferences where being canceled left and right, my colleagues and I pulled off the best event in society’s history.

I’ve been a Senior Judge of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Bronze Anvil Awards for five years where I judge the nation’s very best of the public relations tactics programs. In 2010 I joined the ranks of some of the best and brightest PR pros in the country as a Judge of the Silver Anvil Awards (the Oscar’s of the PR Industry). I am also a member of the PRSA New Professionals Mentor Program where I mentor young PR pros and help guide them in their career paths. I hold memberships in both PRSA and the PRSA Health Academy.

What else do I do? Well, I manage several healthcare communications social networking groups I developed within the industry which have become successful for industry networking, information gathering/sharing, and learning. My communications and networking to help others in this space have become widely known.

And… I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and Public Relations from Rider University which definitely paid off. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those studies and education in communications. Cheers to that.

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