A 1-Day Training Course Delivered By
Stefan Gijssels

Stefan Gijssels

  • Former VP Public Affairs of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies up to 2016, where he championed one of the industry’s most comprehensive global reputation plans.
  • Former Chairman of the Trust, Reputation & Compliance Policy Committee of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.
  • Currently strategy consultant in external leadership and public affairs, designing reputation strategies for pharma companies.

By Attending This Course, You Will

  1. Grasp the full meaning of reputation in pharma and be able to anticipate the most critical challenges.
  2. Understand the impact of your company’s reputation on market access, sales, share price, etc.
  3. Know how to measure reputation and how to translate results into effective action plans.
  4. Learn who should “own” reputation in your company and how to organise for success.
  5. Be able to improve your company’s reputation with successful tactics and best practices, while knowing the do’s & don’ts.
  6. Know how to deal with the most common issues.
  7. Learn from discussing real cases in the pharma industry.


Why You Should Attend

More than any other industry, the life science industry is dependent on the decisions by multiple stakeholders who decide on product approvals, prices and reimbursement schemes, and add legislative and regulatory measures to better control healthcare budgets and services. The opinions formed and decisions made by all the stakeholder groups are based on reputational issues, whether they are doctors, hospital managers, patient groups, politicians, regulators, payers or media. It is therefore of vital importance for any pharma company to measure, manage and build a good reputation among these multiple stakeholders. This is absolutely necessary to be allowed to engage in a dialogue with them, to be listened to, and to co-determine not only the future success of products, but also of the whole company and the context in which you will have to conduct business. Understanding what stakeholders think and expect from your company, and how your company’s reputation compares to the competition, is absolutely critical to sustainable business success.

The Content: This course will discuss the drivers and attributes of reputation, offer strategies and tactics to improve it, as well as a stepwise approach for implementation, from basic compliance to external leadership. You will be equipped with the concepts and tools to pro-actively improve your company’s reputation, which in turn will create a competitive advantage.

The Expert: Stefan Gijssels is uniquely qualified to deliver this seminar. He has worked in public affairs for more than 30 years, of which the last 13 years in the pharmaceutical industry. As a consultant at Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick he assisted blue chip companies with international and global reputational challenges, caused by conflicts in society, product issues or organisational changes. He is an experienced trainer, meeting facilitator and moderator. While at McDonald’s, he doubled the company’s public reputation in one year’s time in the middle of the mad cow disease. More recently at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson he designed and implemented one of the industry’s most comprehensive global reputation plans by pro-actively aligning the different functions to have a common and purposeful approach to reputation management, which led to demonstrable results to both top-line and bottom-line revenue. Both his theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience will be available to participants, who will appreciate the open and interactive style of his seminar. Stefan also acts as coach and trainer, and he is the author of The Power of Partnerships. A European Pharmaceutical Perspective on Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals for Health (Seboio Policy Papers, February 2017). 




Welcome & Audience Expectations


What is Reputation?


  • Group discussion:
    • What are the components of reputation?
    • Examples from delegates of best practices and worst cases
  • Reputation as part of the 3 dimensions of company perceptions: reputation vs. company brand vs. customer experience
  • Different stakeholders, different reputations? How to prioritise?
  • A formal definition of a pharma company’s reputation


Coffee Break


What is the Value of Reputation? - How to Measure?

  • The value of reputation by stakeholder group
  • A toolkit to measure reputation
  • Opinion surveys – what are the right questions to ask?
  • What we can learn from some international surveys
  • How to translate reputation into top-line and bottom-line figures




Organising for a Better Reputation

  • The reputation ladder: from compliance to industry leadership
  • The “soft core”: corporate values, culture & management style
  • The role of the CEO, the power of cross-functional alignment and internal engagement
  • The concept of External Leadership
15:00Coffee Break


How to Improve Reputation – Strategies & Tactics

  • The components of a reputation plan
  • The competitive framework - within disease areas and at corporate level
  • Determining the leadership position
  • Share-of-mind and share-of-voice: from peer-to-peer to advertising
  • The value of open communication: participation, engagement & transparency
  • Campaigning for success


How to Deal with Internal Constraints and External Attacks

  • The specific challenges for the pharmaceutical industry: internal and external reputation barriers
  • Upholding corporate reputation in a hostile environment
  • Dealing with issues


Wrap Up & Take Homes




Learning Methodology

The seminar is designed and delivered as an intensive, interactive programme for middle to senior executives.

You will be strongly encouraged to ask questions and bring your own challenges and experiences to the meeting. In addition to learning from Stefan Gijssels’ experience and insights, you will gain from sharing knowledge with your peers across the industry.

One of the most valuable aspects of attending any C.E.L.forpharma course is not only being able to have your specific questions answered by a leading expert, but also having the opportunity to share experiences and have in-depth discussions with your international peers.

infoThe typical audience size of our courses ranges from 6 to 24 (max) participants.

Who Should Attend?

This course is a must-attend for all senior executives in the pharmaceutical industry, in particular country managers and heads of regional offices, as well as all executives in public affairs, corporate affairs, government affairs, legal departments and corporate communications.

In addition, all pharma executives in functions with great impact on a company’s reputation will benefit from attending. This includes managers of Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Market Access, Marketing & Sales and Business Development.


Past Participants

Below is a non-exhaustive list of past participants who have benefited from attending this course.


Job Title



Communications & Public AffairsBayerGermany
Teamleader Business Analysis Primary CareBoehringer IngelheimGermany
Head Public Affairs Belgium-LuxembourgSanofiBelgium
Corporate Ethics & Compliance Business LeadUCBBelgium
Regulatory Affairs Professional Belgium



Dates & Locations

All C.E.L.forpharma courses are held in top-class four or five star hotels situated in easily accessible locations, either close to an international airport or near public transportation links in city centre locations.

  • 17 November 2017, Brussels

This course takes place at the Parker Hotel Brussels Airport which is located 5 minutes from Brussels National Airport by complimentary hotel shuttle and 30 minutes by taxi from Brussels South train station (Thalys, TGV, Eurostar).


Address: Bessenveldstraat 15, 1831 Diegem, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 713 66 66

Hotel Booking Assistance

Having built a strong relationship with each hotel, C.E.L.forpharma has secured preferential room rates for our delegates who book their accommodation three weeks or more prior to the course. Upon your registration, we will help you make your hotel booking. For any assistance in this matter please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Nissen, Programme Coordinator (sarah.nissen@celforpharma.com, tel +32 (0)2 709 01 46).

Included in the Registration Fee

  • Course Material (Digital & Print Versions)
  • Coffee, Tea & Refreshments During the Course
  • Lunch During the Course
  • Certificate of Attendance Signed by the Expert


Group Discounts

Team discounts can be offered to 3 or more delegates from the same company. Contact Annelies Swaan, Head of Business Operations, (annelies.swaan@celforpharma.com) for more details.


How to Register

  1. Click the "Register Here" button on this page.
  2. Choose a course date, then fill out your personal details in step 1 and company / invoicing details in step 2.
  3. Choose to pay via bank transfer / invoice or by credit card.
  4. Click "Confirm Registration". You will be sent an automatic email confirming your registration followed by a personal email containing a pro-forma invoice and further payment instructions.

For assistance in registering, raising a PO or invoicing, please do not hesitate to contact Britt De Cat.
(email: britt.decat@celforpharma.com or call: +32 2 709 01 44)


Transfer & Cancellation Policy

Flexible Transfer

  • If a registrant cannot attend the scheduled course, he/she can avoid any cancellation charge by sending a suitable replacement participant.
  • Alternatively, the registrant can transfer once on a “space available” basis at no extra cost, until 1 week prior to the event, to another course held within one year of the original course date.

Participant Cancellation

  • Cancelling 5 weeks or more prior to the course: cancellation fee of €250.
  • Cancelling 4 to 3 weeks prior to the course: 25% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Cancelling 14 to 7 working days prior to the course: 50% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Fewer than 7 working days or if no notification received: registrant liable to pay invoiced registration fee.
  • If a registrant postpones his/her participation to a future course, and cancels again, no refund can be claimed for paid registration fees.

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