Staff Reporters
Oct 26, 2022

Women to Watch 2022: Julie Wu, DeVries Global

As a digital-savvy innovative thinker for health communications, Wu worked with numerous pharmaceutical brands and built a team from scratch.

Women to Watch 2022: Julie Wu, DeVries Global
Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms

Julie Wu

Vice president
DeVries Global

Julie Wu began her healthcare communications career at Cohn & Wolfe in Shanghai back in 2013 because of the influence from her mother, a gynaecologist. After joining DeVries as the first employee on her team over four years ago, Wu’s rise has been clear in scope and influence. With her innovative approaches to communications, strong strategic thinking, and integrated marketing planning ability for clients, she was promoted from senior manager to vice president, managing the healthcare practice of DeVries China and leading a team of over 20 people.

Under Wu’s leadership, the team accounts for over 35% of the total revenue for the agency, with a growth rate of 60% year-on-year. GSK’s communication director Rene Xu believes that what makes DeVries Global outstanding in the market is Wu’s commitment to “always challenge herself to explore innovative approaches.”

Wu achieved several firsts for clients. She led the first crisis issue campaign for Bristol Myers Squibb that helped change patient perceptions and address product misunderstandings. She also explored the first online retail trial for Sanofi and created a new revenue stream for the out-of-hospital market. Then, to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis early diagnosis, she organised an award-winning first virtual photograph exhibition featuring MS patients for Novartis.

Her work has brought increased awareness and health education around many different types of conditions. On World Multiple Sclerosis Day, in partnership with the Illness Challenge Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis, she successfully engaged over 1,000 donors, raising public awareness about the disease. For diabetes patients, she led a national glucose screening campaign to call for early diagnosis. Wu also initiated a Memory Café project in 2021 on a client’s campus, bringing together Alzheimer's patients and company employees who registered as ‘Dementia Friends’.

In the same year, she was awarded Silver in the Suqin Awards, China’s Innovative Communications Awards,  for Roche's ‘Children’s Walk’ campaign, after winning two Suqin Awards in 2020 for World Lymphoma Day's public outreach. For the past three years, Wu has generated millions of steps and awareness for Children’s Walk’ and driven over one million RMB in donations to help children with major illnesses and rare diseases.

Wu’s passion and dedication contributed to a low staff turnover rate of below 16% over the past five years. Meanwhile, she has also motivated young talent, many without medical backgrounds, to break down the barriers and design a clear career path by offering training and consulting.

Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms


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