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Is the Playbook More Important than the Players? A Pharma Communications Vet Weighs In.

By Seth Kaufman


Is the Playbook More Important than the Players? A Pharma Communications Vet Weighs In.

As the former public affairs leader at Moderna, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson, Ray Jordan knows, eventually, every communications team will be hit with an unexpected challenge.


He speaks from experience.


“The steady, drip, drip drip of needing to find the kind of focused expertise that could help me through a particular problem area at a particular point in time was a frequent challenge.”


In a Vanguard dialogue, “Is There a Playbook for Leadership?” Jordan discussed the vision behind his new firm, Putnam Insights, which offers expertise in best practice strategies for critical areas of corporate communications and advises clients on strategy execution.


Asked if the playbook is more critical than the players, Jordan didn’t blink.

“My team is absolutely important. They’re critical. The process and the people have to marry up,” he says. “If I were going to call somebody in to help me with a targeted program area, I would want to know that this will be a best-in-class exercise. I’m not going to want to teach the agency how to do this, I’m not going to want to become an expert in doing it myself. And so, the people are critical and need to be out front and visible.”


Jordan shares his thoughts on communications leadership in an interview with Vanguard’s Ken Stone. You can read the transcript of the conversation, listen to the podcast, or watch the video.


These thoughts are taken from a dialogue conducted on Aug 18, 2022. Participants may have changed companies and/or titles since then.

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