Pfizer Utilizes Framework to Enable Quicker, More Effective Response to Major Societal Issues

May 13, 2019 12:00 PM ET

We live in challenging, often contentious times, with political, cultural and environmental issues constantly brewing. Companies across industries face the daunting task of appropriately responding to issues and news on a regular basis, and to help guide our responses at Pfizer, we developed our Social Framework – a way to determine if, when, how and why we will address a societal issue.

“Businesses need to be equipped to respond faster than ever before and have the right spirit, skill and will to engage,” says Sally Susman, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.

The Framework uses four simple questions to guide us:

  1. Does the issue advance or challenge our purpose to bring innovative therapies to patients that significantly improve lives?
  2. Does it directly impact our business? What are the implications for patients, regulators, shareholders or colleagues?
  3. What are our options for responding? What do we need to communicate? What actions do we need to take?
  4. What are the implications for responding versus not responding? How can we manage any risks that may arise?

One recent example of the framework in action is our response to concerns about polarized views on the importance of immigrants to the U.S. workforce. We launched a diversity advertisement to send a clear message that we want the brightest, boldest thinkers to search for life-saving cures regardless of where they come from; talent and innovation know no borders. The ad received over one million views and more than 500 job seekers have visited in search of opportunities as a result.

"The Social Framework allows Pfizer leaders to use a consistent lens to view issues in an ever-changing landscape, and where appropriate, provide creative responses to our stakeholders,” says Susman.

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