2015 Rising PR Stars (corporation and association): Vince Azar, Digital Communications Specialist at Astellas Pharma

Since joining Astellas Pharma US in March 2014, Vince Azar has reinvigorated its social media platforms, creating new ways for Astellas to engage with stakeholders. With his relentless pursuit to work cross-functionally to incorporate social media content in campaigns, Azar has quickly become recognized as his company’s “social media guru.”

Prior to his arrival, Astellas was generally inactive on social media. The company occasionally posted to Twitter and YouTube, and LinkedIn was primarily used by HR. Soon after Azar joined the team, he spearheaded all things social media, creating Astellas Pharma’s first Facebook page and evolving its social media channels to become core communications platforms, which promote its activities in CSR, public policy, disease awareness, product news, diversity/inclusion, executive visibility, employee relations, etc.

Azar has implemented new tools and rigor to the company’s digital engagement activities. Monthly, he leads the creation of a comprehensive editorial calendar for social media and maintains all social media channels. As a result of his efforts, Astellas Pharma now has 26.7k Twitter followers – a 146 percent increase since 2014 – and 61.6k LinkedIn followers – a 48 percent increase since 2014. He established a base Facebook following of 630 since its inception. Earlier this year, his colleagues held a celebration to recognize his achievement of helping Astellas reach 25,000 followers on Twitter.