Analyzing Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine PR Strategy


This case examines the public relations and communications strategy of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is expected to launch a Covid-19 vaccine after announcing successful trials in the fall of 2020. With a vaccine coming amid a highly fraught political moment in the United States, Pfizer’s messaging has attempted to distance the company—and its vaccine research—from the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, despite the company’s collaboration with the administration to help facilitate eventual distribution of the vaccine. The case asks students to assess Pfizer’s messaging and discuss the strategic benefits and pitfalls of the company’s effort to distance itself from the sitting president.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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