40 Under 40 2016: Kelly Kutchinsky
August 1, 2016
by PRWeek staff
SVP of Tonic Life Communications, 39 year old Kelly Kutchinsky, is the consummate healthcare communications pro. The 16-year veteran of the healthcare PR specialty is a confident leader who quickly rose through the ranks at Philadelphia-based Tonic Life Communications to the leadership team after joining as a senior account executive a decade ago.
The master of diplomacy relishes the challenge of working in a regulated industry, but also counts her interactions with patients and caregivers impacted by clients’ campaigns as among her most affirming moments on the job.
“Those of us who work with Kelly at Tonic benefit from her commitment and compassion every day,” says a colleague.
She brings in new business at an astonishing rate and retains key clients with year-after-year first-rate service through an injection of creativity hard to find in the sometimes-risk-averse life sciences, pharma, and wellness spaces. She oversees about $3 million in accounts, ranging from consumer healthcare products to investigational therapies for rare diseases.
She led the pitch team that brought in the Johnson & Johnson diabetes care business, which remains one of Tonic’s longest-standing clients. She continues to manage the account, helping J&J through various internal and external transitions in a hot category, while growing the business steadily every year.
Kutchinsky also oversaw the team that won the agency’s second-largest account, Teva Respiratory, in 2010. The initial win was for communications support of a single product, but the budget tripled within the first year as Teva signed up for more. Now, six years later, Tonic represents the entire franchise.
Kutchinsky excels at finding new ways of engaging disparate audiences and knows her way around issues. She played a critical role in helping client RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) put together a two-day thought leadership summit on vitamin and mineral supplementation that drew global experts, a collaboration that many participants continue to reference.
– One of her first comms jobs was at a nonprofit blood bank that set off her passion for the critical role healthcare communications can play.
– A two-year detour into journalism resulted in a Promising Young Journalist Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors for an article about New York City’s 2012 Olympic Bid.
– As an avid swimmer, Kutchinsky logs 3,000-plus meters three times a week.