Associate Director Communications & Patient Engagement - SSA - #366428

MSD South Africa

Date: 6 days ago
City: Midrand, Gauteng
Contract type: Full time
Job Description

Our Policy & Communications team collaborate with governments and policy organizations at local and national levels. We address legislative and regulatory issues that promote and protect the discovery of innovative medicine, vaccines and animal health products while improving and protecting patient access to care. We take great care to monitor and manage the reputation of our company communicating the work we do to improve lives.

Major Responsibilities

  • Developing a corporate narrative which captures our company's value proposition in key SSA ( Sub Saharan Africa ) markets.
  • Developing and implementing an external communications strategy and plans with a strong emphasis on use of traditional, digital and social media to position our company in the minds of key stakeholders.
  • Developing and implementing external communications strategies to support environmental shaping priorities at the organisation-wide and brand level in support of commercial objectives.
  • Ensuring executive readiness for media engagement
  • Drive our company's Corporate Responsibility and Patient Support Initiatives across SSA.
  • Crisis and Issues Management to protect our company's reputation.
  • Proactively monitor media reports for information that may be commercially or business relevant, that may materially impact the markets in which our company operates in SSA and / or which may present risks to current or planned commercial strategies and co-ordinate responses thereto.
  • Developing and implementing and internal communications strategy supportive of Human Resource and the Managing Director’s employee engagement approach, including leadership visibility.
  • Working with media, PR and event vendors and strategic partners in SSA countries in the region as required.
  • Leading our company's participation in identified working groups within relevant industry associations (e.g. IPASA)

Key Competencies & Requirements

  • Be proficient at identifying and responding to reputation and brand opportunities in both the traditional media and social media spaces.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, with advanced business presentation skills.
  • Strong networking skills including strong relationships with the media and other key stakeholders.
  • Design and deliver media events in support of commercial and organizational objectives.
  • The incumbent is responsible for coordinating and managing the development and production of communications materials for all brand, company reputation and corporate social responsibility initiatives both in the SSA region.

Functional competencies

  • Be able to build internal and external networks to facilitate message delivery, communicate effectively with all types of audiences, exhibit flexibility based on the immediate situation, and the courage to stand in the line of fire when the message is not a popular one.
  • Ability to advise, coach and work well with senior leaders of the organisation.
  • Ability to work in a highly regulated industry. Previous pharmaceutical sector experience would be advantageous.
  • Highly ethical and professional approach to business and communications.
  • Excellent speaking skills and a strong ability to write, edit and do research to develop media releases and business presentation. Ideal candidate must be a hands-on people’s person who is strong at negotiation, well presented, with excellent problem solving and conflict resolution skills and sound judgement
  • Proficient in the development and execution of digital and social media strategies


  • Excellent communication skills and must be fluent in English (verbal and written).
  • Proficiency in scientific communications would be advantageous
  • Attention to detail and an eye for quality, along with the ability to grasp and translate technical information.
  • Strong organising and prioritising skills are critical.
  • Advanced Computer literacy in Word, PowerPoint and relevant design software.
  • Exceptional analytical and presentation skill
  • Ability to operate in a global matrix environment
  • Ability to influence without authority
  • Disciplined self-starter; process-driven with highest ethical standards


  • Educational requirements include a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism or communications. A bachelor’s degree in business or marketing will also be considered.


  • Minimum of five years of related experience in corporate communications or public relations.

Special Requirements

  • Code 8 Drivers license;
  • Flexibility to travel;

We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully

Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Employee Status



No relocation

VISA Sponsorship


Travel Requirements


Flexible Work Arrangements



Not Indicated

Valid Driving License


Hazardous Material(s)

Job Posting End Date


  • A job posting is effective until 11 59 59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Job Posting End Date 05/29/2024

A job posting is effective until 11 59 59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Requisition ID R294101
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