Since joining Schwartz in 1998, Risa Burgess has created and executed award-winning strategic communications programs for public and private clients in the Agency's healthcare practice group. She has advised emerging growth and market leaders in the biotechnology, medical device, medical diagnostic and life science sectors. Risa brings a creative, strategic and savvy approach in crafting PR strategies that align with key business objectives to deliver measurable impact for her clients. She has designed and implemented multi-faceted PR campaigns including traditional media, social media and special events to support regulatory milestones, regional sales efforts, scientific communications, M&A activity, pre-launch market conditioning, issue awareness, celebrity-driven consumer awareness, corporate communications, and clinical trial recruitment.
Risa co-led the communications campaign for healthcare investment bank Leerink Swann creating an identity for the boutique bank among the top echelon of business and financial press. This successful, multi-year initiative resulted in the boutique firm's equity research analysts and investment banking team serving as go-to experts for the press on major healthcare news. For more than 10 years, Risa has worked with West Pharmaceutical Services a global manufacturer of systems and components for injectable drug delivery. Under her leadership, her global team has provided invaluable PR support for multiple business units and product lines amongst key pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology press. She has worked with innovative medical device companies including RF Surgical, Stereotaxis, Cyberonics and Wright Medical raising awareness for innovative treatment options to avoid surgical medical errors and treat cardiac arrhythmias, depression and epilepsy.
Risa has secured innumerable placements for her clients in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Investor's Business Daily, BusinessWeek, CNBC, Fortune, Dow Jones, Reuters, Financial Times, Boston Globe, Nature Review, BioITWorld, Pharmaceutical Executive and Drug Discovery and Development. Under her leadership, Risa's teams have been recognized for PR excellence by the Publicity Club of New England with top honors including best product/service publicity business-to-business campaign for Leerink Swann in 2009; best news release: regional for Cyberonics in 2006 and best investor relations/financial campaign for Cyberonics in 2005.
She is past president for the Publicity Club of New England and served as a board director for many years. She coordinates the Agency's submissions for annual public relations industry awards competitions and runs the Schwartz Communications PR team. She leads training and professional development programs for the healthcare practice. Risa also runs the Agency's mentoring program and actively mentors many PR practitioners in the healthcare practice.
Prior to joining Schwartz, Risa worked as a research associate at RAMS-FIE in Gaithersburg, Md. She also dipped her toes in culinary PR at Blue Plate Communications, a Newton, Mass. public relations agency focused on the food service industry. Risa holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland with a specialty in public relations and writing.