rachel pfizer

NEW YORK: Golin has hired Pfizer veteran Rachel Hooper to lead healthcare media relations for the firm.

Hooper reports to Golin’s global president of healthcare Neera Chaudhary. She started at the firm on April 15. Hooper said she currently has a handful of direct reports and will be adding more soon.

“We are growing and that’s what was so exciting about this opportunity for me; the ability to create a team from the ground up,” she said.

Hooper is charged with leading the firm’s “media, digital and public affairs healthcare pursuits across the healthcare practice,” according to a statement.

“What’s fun for me is I get exposure to some incredible companies,” Hooper said about the work. “I can’t share specific names, but they are top tier pharma and biotech companies.”

Hooper said there is definitely room for more creativity in healthcare comms and she will be looking for new ways to support Golin’s healthcare clients.

“All the digital and social tools are offering many new ways to look at communicating and increasing awareness, so that’s one way,” Hooper said, explaining some of the tactics she is considering. “And because so much about healthcare relates back to policy, I’m looking for a way to do some creative public affairs work using campaign-style approaches.”

While healthcare comms tends to be heavily regulated and focused on compliance first and foremost, “there are ways to push and educate ourselves using new ways to share [client’s] stories,” she added.

Hooper joined Golin from Pfizer, where she was senior director of corporate affairs. She exited the pharma company in mid-April after six years there. Pfizer declined to say what it was doing with Hooper’s former position or comment on her departure.

“I felt like I was ready to sort of flex more creative muscles,” Hooper added, explaining why she left Pfizer to move to an agency. “Being able to work across a variety of clients and build a team of my own was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Prior to Pfizer, Hooper launched Marketplace Communications, a public affairs firm, and also worked at Porter Novelli, according to a statement.

Revenue at Golin grew 5% in 2018, to $218 million, compared to $208 million in 2017, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019.

This story first appeared on prweek.com.