Syneos Health has merged its U.S. PR unit’s corporate communications, reputation and risk management and social impact groups to create a corporate affairs practice.

The firm announced the integrated practice internally at the end of last year and put it into effect in January. Led by practice group MD Cynthia Isaac, the unit brings together a range of expertise under one umbrella for an aligned approach to corporate reputation, according to the agency. 

Syneos decided to merge the groups under corporate affairs after it realized that many of its biotech and pharmaceutical clients are heads of corporate affairs themselves, Isaac explained, adding that Syneos’ team was careful about how it named the new entity. 

Head of reputation and risk management Miriam Kalnicki and EVP and head of corporate and biotech media Christopher Hippolyte are joining Isaac to lead the merged entity. They are working with a combined team of 65, made up of senior leaders and subject matter experts.

“The role of corporate affairs is changing because of how the world is today. [Clients’] jobs are so much harder and so the types of subject matter experts that they are looking to talk to and get advice from has widened,” Isaac said. “What we are seeing is that as their jobs change, we should be coming up with ways in which to prepare them for what is happening in the world today.”

Isaac referenced recent Senate hearings on drug prices as an example of how Syneos is adapting to meet the needs of clients in relation to regulatory and policy trends. The corporate affairs practice will include specialties in corporate communications; reputation and risk management; financial communications; media relations; executive visibility and thought leadership; scientific and corporate storytelling; social impact; diversity, equity and inclusion; policy, value and access; employee engagement and change management.

In comparison to her experience at other agencies where specialists were siloed in their own practices, Syneos brings experts together under one roof, Isaac said. Practice members are also located across the country, an intentional move to be representative geographically and demographically of the diversity of clients and their audiences. 

“One of the reasons [clients] come to us is this senior expertise that we offer,” Isaac said. “That hasn’t changed at all. This is more about looking to the future to see how we make what we are doing, and especially the role of corporate affairs, more future-proof.”

She added that as the team expands via new hires, it is helping clients who are looking for data-driven ways of making decisions and more sophisticated methods of looking at stakeholders.

Isaac joined Syneos Health U.S. PR in 2014 and helped to establish its corporate comms practice. She has also worked to grow the unit with specialty offerings including executive thought leadership; internal communications and change management; and DEI and health equity strategy. 

Syneos Health Public Relations is a subset of Syneos Health Communications. Syneos Health went private last September via a $7.1 billion all-cash transaction with a cohort of private equity firms, including Elliott Investment Management, Patient Square Capital and Veritas Capital. Its clients include Johnson & Johnson and biotechnology company Geron. 

Syneos Health PR reported a revenue increase of 11% to $116 million globally and $88.8 million in the U.S. in 2022, according to PRWeek’s 2023 Agency Business Report

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.