Donald Hannaford

Managing Principal, Deca Communications

Donald (Don) Hannaford is Managing Principal of Deca Communications, Inc., and a member of rbb Communications’ Healthcare Advisory Council.  Don Hannaford earned his reputation as a top reputation and brand communications counselor over three decades serving the biggest names in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. He brings unparalleled experience, expertise, and political savvy to effect changes in perception and policy, whether within an organization, to stakeholders, or to the general public.  Don’s specialties revolve around communications associated with corporate and organizational reputations, including corporate and internal communications, issues management, corporate social responsibility and litigation communications.  A prolific writer, Don is an expert in developing long- and short-form prose to support strategic and tactical objectives.

Don has developed and conducted reputation management and product communications programs, including internal communications, for such clients as Allergan, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Company (products across four disease-state portfolios, access communications, and issues management), Sanofi, Roche, Allergan (including the development and execution of a digital promotion program for the CEO), Cleveland Clinic, Inova Health System, Duke University Hospital System, JFK Health System, Chiron, and Novartis.

Don was previously Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office of MSL Group where, in addition to directing day-to-day operations of the D.C. office, he served as global relationship director for work with Eli Lilly and Company (products across four disease-state portfolios, access communications, and issues management), led the development of a health policy practice and corporate reputation for healthcare clients. Mr. Hannaford was also Managing Director of the New York office and Director of the Corporate and Public Affairs practice at Zeno Group, a subsidiary of Edelman. In this capacity, he built winning identity and issues management strategies for clients such as Surescripts (the largest e-prescribing network in the U.S.), SCA/Tena, and T-Mobile.  Don began his career as a legislative assistant on health, energy, and environmental issues for a U.S. Senator. He subsequently held posts at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Service, then as Director of International Operations for Hanford’s, Inc., a wholesale marketing and distribution company, for which he conducted sourcing and transportation operations throughout Asia.

Mr. Hannaford received a Bachelor of Arts dual degree in international relations and classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Some of Don’s key accomplishments include:

  • Execution of successful communications programs to support approval and launch of biopharmaceuticals and medical devices across a broad range of disease states and conditions
  • Reorganizing operational structures (governmental communications office, international purchasing business, multiple PR/PA agency offices) to achieve improved function and/or revenue enhancements
  • Development of a health policy practice within a PR agency
  • Execution of successful issues and crisis programs for multiple high-profile circumstances (including the largest suit in the history of the EEOC and one of the most contentious FDA approvals in the past 20 years)
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