Pfizer’s PR Chief: How In the Hell Do We Have Such a Bad Reputation?

Ray Kerins.jpg

AdAge picked up a juicy clip of Pfizer’s Global PR Chief Ray Kerins speaking at a Business Development Institute conference.

Kerins first blames himself and his industry for its bad reputation, then explains his solution: he and his staff will attempt to spend 50% of their time in the company of journalists (a goal that impacts compensation). His team’s current estimate is 15%–actually a high number for most corporate PR departments.

So far he estimates 115 journalists have enjoyed this “engage and educate” strategy (in 2008) with apparently no agenda, no story pitching, and no execs present.

We’re checking with sources in pharma PR to see if this humanly possible in a such a highly regulated, command-and-control industry. One source couldn’t make it to the concept at all, telling us that most companies don’t talk to the press at all and view journalists as enemies.