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Cision State of Media 2015

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2015 Buyer's Guide To PR Products & Services Plus Crisis Comms.

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Jan. '15 PR Buyer's Guide & Crisis Communications Magazine (PDF)

Main Index of Issues

January would not be complete without our annual PR Products & Services Buyer’s Guide and special issue on crisis communications. We examine 2014’s biggest winners and as well as the top PR blunders of the past year.

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Firms Specializing in Crisis Communications


277 Park Avenue, 39th Floor
New York, NY 10172

James Abernathy, Chairman & CEO
Chuck Burgess, Co-President
Tom Johnson, Co-President
Carina Davidson, Chief Operating Officer

The Abernathy MacGregor Group is a strategic communications firm that operates in six disciplines: crisis management, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy, investor relations, transaction communications, IPOs and corporate and financial public relations.

The firm’s crisis management practice assists clients when unplanned circumstances threaten public perception of their organizations and businesses. We offer support to clients in all phases of crisis planning and response by advocating a crisis preparedness discipline that involves identifying areas of vulnerability, establishing procedures, training spokespeople and agreeing to broad principles of crisis conduct.
The firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice — which includes restructurings both within and outside of Chapter 11 protection — haicrs advised on some of the largest and most complex restructurings in corporate history. Working with management and external legal and financial advisors, we develop and implement effective communications programs that help stabilize companies during uncertain times. Properly executed, these plans can help maximize the window of time within which management and its advisors can successfully address the issues fundamental to sustained recovery.


2300 Peachford Rd., Suite 2109
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Fax: 470/299-6575

Laurel Kennedy, Principal

Blink is a crisis communications company for food channel organizations. We manage food chain issues from “seed to store” — consumer reaction, health/nutrition, packaging, responsibility and more.

Our difference?

Blink starts immediately. We’re rooted in agricultural and crisis experience. Blink principals work at your side. No hand-off to junior people. Blink lets you sleep at night. Products like Reputation Current Ratio, Crisis Gap Analysis, Crisis Simulation help test — and fix — your current crisis plan.


245 Park Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10167

Sir Alan Parker, Chairman
Susan Gilchrist, Group Chief Executive

Brunswick is a leading business communications firm: a global partnership with 22 offices in 13 countries. Founded in 1987, Brunswick has grown organically, operating as a single profit center — allowing us to respond seamlessly to our clients’ needs, wherever they are in the world. When clients turn to us, it’s because they know that good communications is more than managing perceptions — it’s essential to making business work. Our background in financial communications means we understand how businesses are wired. It also means integrity is deep in our nature: diligence, openness and accuracy. We have a reputation for high-caliber, highly experienced people. So whatever the task, we can assemble a broad range of expertise from right across the firm. Our clients know we’re always in their corner. We build trusted, long-term relationships which help our clients to deliver their strategy.

Offices: Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Dallas, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Vienna, and Washington, D.C.


5 Wood Hollow Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054

5 Bryant Park, 28th Floor
New York, NY 10018

12400 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 535
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Thomas F. Coyne, CEO
Rich Lukis, President
John Gogarty, Executive Vice President
Kevin Sullivan, Senior Consultant

Coyne has established itself as one of the leading independent full-service agencies in the country providing issues management and crisis communications support for many of the world’s most respected brands, including Hard Rock International, Shell Oil, Goodyear, Heathrow Airport, Atlantic Health System, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Burger King Corporation, Red Robin Restaurants and Daytona International Speedway. Our deep knowledge of our clients and their industries make us the best possible brand steward to protect their image. Keys to providing issues management and crisis counsel include: scenario planning and simulations, as well as open and honest communications. Our team has built crisis communications plans for global implementation; developed social media policies; developed codes of conduct for clients; guided clients through the recall process; worked with various regulatory agencies; and conducted media relations campaigns to help clients maintain positive brand reputation. Our issues management experts follow a process that helps navigate situations, which may pose a reputational risk. Coyne’s teams of PR professionals have extensive experience developing, executing and supporting crisis communication plans for clients in the following categories: Health, Restaurant, Toy & Juvenile, Travel, Entertainment, Pet & Animal, Executive leadership, Food & Nutrition, Labor, Energy and Social.


MetLife Building
200 Park Avenue, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10166
Fax: 212/922-0971

Robert L. Dilenschneider, President and CEO

The Dilenschneider Group, headquartered in New York and Chicago, provides personal service to a limited and select number of clients. The Group has proven links in all major world capitals and in all major U.S. cities.

The firm brings to clients a level of communications counsel and creativity and an exposure to contacts, networks and relationships that are not available elsewhere.
The Dilenschneider Group provides access for clients to the finest communications professionals in the world, with experience in fields ranging from crisis communications to mergers and acquisitions and marketing, government affairs and international media.

Since its founding, the firm has provided timely and thoughtful research on the important issues of the day. Send for a copy of our biannual Trend Report.


150 Post St., Suite 620
San Francisco, CA 94108
Fax: 415/392-1099

Founded in 1988, San Francisco-based Fineman PR is nationally renowned for its expertise and high-profile work in crisis communications.

In 2014, Fineman PR worked extensively to assist in communications for schools, colleges, and outdoor adventure and wilderness camps. Issues ranged from the efficacy of an artificial turf athletic field to sexual abuse allegations. Fineman PR’s food safety practice was also enlisted for a major, national poultry issue.

Historically, Fineman PR’s successful, high-profile crisis work included addressing the public’s perception about avian influenza for a West Coast poultry producer; managing consequences from the Santa Barbara “Tea Fire” for a college beset by the firestorm; initiating client-community relations after a tragic apartment complex explosion in Truckee, California; providing communications and the resolution that ended violent protests against a Berkeley, California, radio station; putting a juice company on firm public footing immediately after an E. coli crisis; setting the record straight after media slander of packaged salads; developing the messaging and positioning of a California university after the bombing of a researcher’s home by an animal rights terror group; helping resolve labor relations for a highly prestigious medical group in Southern California; and working for so many other clients whose names were successfully kept out of the news.


1129 20th Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036

1875 Century Park East, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Margaret Dunning, Mng. Partner
Jessica Berk Ross, Mng. Partner
Shelly Holmes, Senior Partner

At Finn Partners, our crisis experts help clients address issues so their organization emerges with its reputation enhanced — not just intact.

We work as well with the C-suites, legal teams and board members as we do with internal communications teams and field reps. Our broad experience includes: product recalls; cyber security and social media attacks; outbreaks; union-management negotiations; environmental and other industry issues affecting business; and much more.

Growth as an international agency has also meant growth in our crisis capabilities. We now have a Detroit office with staff experienced in helping the City deal with bankruptcy and renewal. We have expanded our higher education, technology and healthcare portfolios through strategic acquisitions. And we are a preferred provider of crisis communications for United Educators.

Finn Partners will partner with you to develop a strategic crisis plan, evaluate or enhance/update your current crisis plan and/or be in the trenches with you when a crisis develops.


50 Public Square, Suite 3200
Cleveland, OH 44113

Bruce Hennes, Managing Partner
Barbara Paynter, APR, Partner
Nora Jacobs, APR, Vice President
Howard Fencl, APR, Vice President

Hennes Paynter Communications has built its business helping clients manage their communications response to reputational challenges, crisis events and other issues that threaten their ability to serve customers, clients and other stakeholders. Founded in 1989, the firm serves public and private companies, educational institutions, healthcare providers, government agencies and nonprofit organizations “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion. Services include strategic communication planning and execution, reputation management, media training, crisis communication plans and drills, and litigation communications.

Bruce Hennes is one of Ohio’s best-known crisis specialists and an in-demand speaker at law firms, universities, bar and trade associations on the subject of crisis communications.

Barbara Paynter has 25+ years’ experience helping clients ranging from large multinational corporations to local nonprofits resolve crisis and reputational issues. She heads up the firm’s team of senior professionals.

Nora Jacobs, a three-time Silver Anvil winner, has decades of agency experience creating and carrying out strategic communications plans for clients making consumer and industrial products, and those in healthcare, biotechnology, education, chemicals and plastics.

Howard Fencl has significant experience in crisis communications and media training, having spent many years working in broadcast journalism.

For six consecutive years, Hennes Paynter has won the Gold Award from the Public Relations Society of America — Greater Cleveland Chapter for its crisis-related work and its Crisis Comm Newsletter. The crisis work included helping a public health system navigate criminal prosecution of a member of its management team and a program for an Australian forestry company facing sensational media reports about threats to wildlife caused by its logging operations. In 2009, Hennes Paynter won the PRSA Cleveland Chapter’s coveted “Best of Show” award for its work with another agency on the national peanut butter recall and in 2013, the firm again won “Best of Show” for its response when a passenger ferry accident in New York City’s Financial District injured more than 60 passengers.

Deborah Hileman

Deborah Hileman, President and CEO of the Institute for Crisis Management.


Denver, CO office: 303/880-8255
Louisville, KY office: 502/587-0327

Deborah Hileman, President and CEO

Founded in 1989, the Institute for Crisis Management was one of the first U.S. consulting firms working exclusively in crisis management and communications.
ICM prepares executives and management teams to lead before, during and after a crisis with a variety of planning, training and consulting services: Vulnerability and risk assessments; Risk-specific planning tools; Real-time crisis support; Crisis plan development / implementation; Simulation exercises; Management training & consulting; Crisis communications workshops; Strategy and message development; Spokesperson/media training; Executive coaching and interview preparation; Media and social media monitoring and analysis; Reputation management and damage mitigation; and Debriefing and response assessment.

ICM has developed crisis plans, counseled executives and managed crisis communications for clients in virtually every industry, and including workplace shootings, strikes, white collar crime, criminal and civil investigations, data breaches, recalls, plant closings, unfounded rumors, wrongful death/patient abuse investigations, activist threats, boycotts, natural disasters, and social and political issues.


685 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: 646/277-1201

Thomas M. Ryan, CEO, Co-Founder
Don Duffy, President

Established in 1998 and privately-held, ICR partners with companies to develop strategic communications programs that achieve business goals, manage risk, and enhance the value of the enterprise. The firm's pairing of capital markets veterans and senior communications professionals provides a highly-differentiated offering, one that continues to serve as the foundation for significant growth.

Today, ICR has approximately 500 clients across 20 industries and is one of the largest independent agencies in North America. The firm maintains offices in Boston, Connecticut, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.

In 2014, ICR once again saw double digit revenue growth driven by new client wins including Weibo, La Quinta Holding, Freshpet, Rubicon Project, Extended Stay, AltheaDx and Paramount Group, among others. In January of 2015, ICR will host the 17th Annual ICR XChange, the firm's annual investor conference, which draws more than 150 private and public company management teams and over 2,000 attendees.


1100 Peachtree St. NE, 18th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30309
Fax: 404/874-6545

125 Washington St., Suite 775
Athens, GA 30601

750 N. Saint Paul St., Ste. 1700 Dallas, TX 75201

Bo Spalding, Glen Jackson, Brian Brodrick, Randall Kirsch, Eric O’Brien, Whitney Ott and Trudy Kremer, Co-Owners & Principals
Colin Owens, Marketing Director
Brett Player, Creative Director

Jackson Spalding was founded in 1995 with a team of eight people who felt there was a better way to structure a communications firm, advance clients and serve the community. Our vision is to be the most trusted and respected integrated marketing communications firm. That’s it. We don’t aim to be the biggest or flashiest. We are independent and are beholden only to our clients, ourselves and the community organizations in which we invest our time. As we have listened to our clients and anticipated their challenges, we have added services and expertise to further their relationships with target audiences to become a full-service integrated marketing communications firm. We help our clients to tell their stories and connect with audiences in compelling ways through:

Discovery: helping organizations understand why they (or their products or services) matter and what makes them meaningfully different.

Development: embracing meaningful differences so that we may uncover essential stories and develop messages that resonate and ‘stick.’

Delivery: balancing the message, messenger, place, tone, timing and tools to effectively connect with target audiences and evoke expressions.

Some of the JS client family members include Orkin, Delta Air Lines, Toyota, the College Football Hall of Fame, Chick-fil-A, Primrose Schools, Mattress Firm, the University System of Georgia, the Atlanta Braves and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We work across all types of industries and commit to understanding our clients’ business as if it were our own. Our commitment to learning, along with the integrity, experience and intelligence of our people, is reflected in the 40+ awards we have garnered over the past five years, including placing 4th in the 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Top Workplaces” study.


622 Third Avenue, 36th Floor
New York, NY 10017

One Sansome Street, Suite 2800
San Francisco, CA 94104

Joele Frank, Managing Partner

When an unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary event threatens a company’s operations or reputation, a fast and intensive response is essential to prevent or mitigate serious damage. We have extensive experience in delivering unique solutions for unique situations, including earnings surprises; short attacks; accounting irregularities; regulatory actions and government investigations; management changes; facility closures and workforce reductions; labor disputes; facility disasters and workplace violence; data security breaches; consumer boycotts, and product recalls.
We are immediately available to our clients during all phases of crisis planning and response. And when a client is in the spotlight, we help determine how best to control the dialogue, take the initiative, fix what’s broken and gather support. We give our clients the training and tools necessary to hit the ground running when a crisis strikes.


437 Madison Avenue, 37th Floor
New York, NY 10022

James Fingeroth, Chairman
Jeremy Fielding, President and Chief Executive Officer

Kekst and Company is one of the world’s leading strategic communications consultancies. The firm’s professionals are expert in managing all aspects of communications related to investor relations and corporate positioning, and have extraordinary experience in a wide range of special situations including: crisis communications, mergers & acquisitions, bankruptcies and restructurings, litigation support, and corporate governance matters, including shareholder activism. The firm has an important and growing franchise serving private equity and hedge funds.

Kekst’s crisis communications experience is unmatched. For more than four decades, we have partnered with clients to navigate through challenging and complex matters such as regulatory and government investigations, high profile litigation, financial and accounting irregularities, financial disclosure issues, senior leadership changes, cyber attacks and data breaches, workforce restructurings, plant closings, product recalls and workplace misconduct, labor relations matters, sexual harassment and workplace abuse for public and private companies as well as not-for-profit educational institutions. In connection with this practice Kekst conducts crisis communications training and crisis simulations for clients’ management teams and boards of directors.


355 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Joan Cear, Senior Vice President

1100 Johnson Ferry Rd., Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30342
Debra Berliner, Senior Vice President

750 National Press Building
529 14th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20045
Rick Cristol, President

Crisis communications and issues management are core strengths of Kellen Communications, a public relations, public affairs and digital agency. We skillfully guide clients through critical issues, from high profile crises that threaten companies and industries to implementing compelling public affairs campaigns to influence policy makers. Kellen’s strategic approach uses the full range of digital, social and traditional media tactics to communicate with stakeholders, manage reputations and strengthen brands. Our clients include consumer products, corporate entities, not-for-profit organizations and trade associations. We work closely with journalists, bloggers, industry influencers, academia and regulatory agencies, as well as conduct detailed online listening and digital response programs. In addition to communications professionals, our staff includes regulatory code specialists; PhDs in engineering, microbiology, toxicology, and biological/biomedical science; nutritionists, registered dietitians and food technicians. Founded in 1945 as Sumner Rider & Associates, Kellen Communications is a division of Kellen Company, a global association services firm with offices in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Brussels and Beijing.


150 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 3800
Chicago, IL 60601
Fax: 312/565-1770

Kim Blazek Dahlborn, President and CEO
Gary Goodfriend, Executive Vice President

Crisis communications requires speed, sensitivity and strategy.

L.C. Williams & Associates (LCWA) has successfully guided clients — from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations — through some of their worst-case scenarios, including product recalls, lawsuits, Chapter 11 bankruptcies, government regulations, restructuring and reorganization initiatives, social media firestorms, employee and labor relations issues, workplace accidents, natural disasters, environmental crises and more.

Today, a crisis can take root in hours if not minutes. Our social media response team monitors chatter constantly so that we can provide the real-time counsel and execution needed to minimize and turn around negative issues. LCWA’s experienced crisis communications professionals are available 24/7 to help prepare executives and manage communications to targeted audiences, channels and media.

We also conduct detailed crisis planning for our clients – anticipating potential crises and outlining process, messaging, roles and responsibilities, and conducting spokesperson training, so that the entire team is ready to take action if a crisis should occur.


16 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016

Ken Makovsky, President & CEO
Scott Tangney, EVP, Financial Services Practice Leader
Mike Goodwin, SVP
John McInerney, GVP

A leading integrated communications firm, Makovsky opened its doors in 1979 as a diversified financial communications firm. Since then, the firm has strategically grown its financial services practice in revenue, reputation and expertise.

From the start of each engagement, we are part of a client’s team. “The Power of Specialized Thinking,” Makovsky’s brand energy line, reflects the firm’s competitive edge. We are a savvy team of financial services communications professionals with diversified backgrounds aligned with the specializations critical to the financial services industry. This alignment produces effective programs, which build reputation, sales and fair valuation.

Makovsky expertise is deep and broad — from wealth management, brokerage, banking, insurance, real estate, ratings, accounting, consulting, legal, executive search and financial technology, to asset management vehicles of all types, including mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, hedge funds, venture capital and private equity.

These programs involve strategic communications counsel, branding, issues and crisis management, media relations, executive visibility, investor relations, digital marketing and other integrated communications services. The firm has advised small, mid, large and mega-cap companies in crises or special situations.

In 2014, Makovsky’s 35th anniversary year, the firm was honored with an unprecedented 36 client campaign, firm and individual awards, including the PRSA Big Apple, for our work on behalf of a leading financial services client, and the Bulldog Stars of PR Awards “Financial/IR Communications Professional of the Year” and “Crisis Management Professional of the Year.” Now in its fourth year, Makovsky’s “Wall Street Reputation Study,” has won the 2014 Stevie Gold Award for Innovation in PR and the 2014 PR World Gold Award. Other accolades have included a full complement of Silver Anvils, Sabre Awards, and IABC Awards.

Headquartered in New York, Makovsky has global reach through IPREX, a partnership of more than 100 offices and nearly 2,000 professionals founded by Makovsky. It today stands as the second largest worldwide corporation of independent agencies.


31420 Northwestern Hwy., #100
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
248/855-6777 Ext. 105

Michael Layne, Managing Partner

Marx Layne professionals have years of experience handling crisis communications issues. We are frequently retained by leading national law firms to help them guide their clients through the media frenzy that often erupts during a company’s most trying times.

Critical issues from industrial accidents, death on the premises, food-borne illness and environmental pollution, to boycotts, strikes and corporate fraud have all been expertly handled by our senior executives.

During crisis events, Marx Layne crisis counselors are on-call 24/7/365. Our team members are experienced in working with legal advisors, police departments and municipalities while keeping company executives apprised at all times of the crisis situation as it unfolds.

We also train company spokespersons in the development of key speaking points and delivery of messaging. Using the latest media technology, our executives tap into the power of social media to monitor sentiment and provide direction on how to protect and manage the client’s brand. Additionally, we understand how to leverage social media tools as part of an arsenal to respond rapidly, whether the crisis occurs in Detroit or in any other region of the nation.

From privately held entities to Fortune 500 companies, Marx Layne has a twenty-year history of successfully developing proactive, comprehensive crisis communications plans that are in place before, during and after a crisis.


1020 19th Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Cell: 301/793-1480
Fax: 202/530-5508

Scott Sobel, MA, President

A recent client endorsement tells you everything you need to know about Media & Communications Strategies based in Washington, DC but operating worldwide: “Media & Communications Strategies immediately helped our large association with an internal political and communications crisis. Their team was a catalyst in helping us make bold, thoughtful and effective decisions that got us on the right track, considering all aspects of the problem from legal to emotional. On a personal note, I don’t know what I would have done without the team to help me through this crisis.” — Cathy Atkins, Deputy Executive Director, CAMFT.

MAC Strategies’ counsel takes into consideration the client’s business and reputation during and after a crisis — we are holistic in our approach and provide Critical Relations™ that gets compelling results for clients. We tell the best and most persuasive story for clients that operate in B2B, B2C and virtually every other business model from Fortune level corporations, to all sizes of law firms to associations and much, much more.

We are a founding member of the Public Relations Boutiques International ( network, for constant and far-reaching support in the U.S. and internationally. High profile crisis communications is one niche talent, reputation management is our core expertise and client satisfaction is the predictable outcome.
Our long list of PR and journalistic awards are testimony to our excellent performance for clients … we are, for instance, The Bulldog Crisis Agency of the Year.


711 Third Ave.
16th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Montieth M. Illingworth, President
Bob Schulman,Senior Advisor
Howard Tom, Senior Advisor
Peter Firestein, Senior Advisor

Montieth & Company’s Issues & Crisis Management and Litigation Communications practices are distinguished in the industry as having worked on some of the most complex, high stakes matters facing a broad array of individual and corporate clients. Montieth & Company advises on crisis and litigation PR strategy and provides the related corporate and financial communications and media relations coun- sel and services.

Montieth & Company has advised on a range of matters including the Madoff Fraud, the DOJ’s insider trading investigation, litigation following Hurricane Sandy, the recovery of art looted by the Nazis, and a variety of other white collar criminal and civil matters. The firm has also advised on M&A, business disputes, EEOC and product liability cases, class action litigation, and shareholder activism, along with employment issues. It works closely with the management and legal teams on integrating communications into the full cycle of litigation, including trials. Montieth & Company also advises on corporate governance and stewardship issues. It has close media relationships throughout all the world’s major media markets.

Montieth & Company is headquartered in New York, NY and maintains an office in London. It operates globally through affiliates in Boston, Washington D.C., Sao Paulo, Berlin, Zurich, Hong Kong, and Seoul.


304 Park Avenue South, Fl. 8
New York, NY 10010

Michael Kempner, President and Chief Executive Officer
Carreen Winters, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications
Richard Tauberman, Executive Vice President

When trouble befalls a brand or organization, reputations can be made or broken in a matter of hours — sometimes, in minutes. During this crucial time, a company can protect — even enhance — its standing with its key stakeholders, or it can sustain damage that is widespread and long-lasting. That’s why clients across industries and around the globe rely on MWW, whose crisis counselors possess an exceptional depth of expertise and experience, ensuring that our clients Matter More™ when the stakes are high. We help clients with vulnerability assessments, crisis plan development/updates, crisis simulation/media training, communications counsel and on-site support in the midst of incidents. Just as important, our team manages the aftermath of a crisis to restore trust and reputation in a company.

We approach crisis engagements with reputation management best practices, total stakeholder engagement and digital media savvy. Using MWW’s proprietary Crisis Action Protocol, we thoroughly and meticulously prepare for any potential crisis, regardless of the magnitude. Our planning carefully considers the impact on all audiences including customers, employees, vendors, shareholders, government officials, NGO’s, community leaders, traditional media and social media. Consequently, when a crisis hits, we can react immediately with a multi-channel approach that addresses the diverse needs of each critical constituency, helping you when you need it most.


1101 West River Pkwy., #400
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Brian Ellis, EVP
Bob McNaney, VP

PadillaCRT — an employee-owned integrated communications firm — has a dedicated team of highly experienced crisis and critical issues experts. Our counsel begins with “walking toward the crisis.” We can help you build a comprehensive crisis preparedness plan.

We also handle the unexpected. And we do it 24/7 through our PR Crisis Line at 1-877-PRER- 911.

Padilla’s team also offers a Social Media Crisis Simulator, designed to test-drive your team’s crisis response plan through a secure, customized and authentic-feeling social media crisis simulation tool.

While we keep our crisis client list confidential, our experience includes date breach, product recalls, sexual abuse allegations, attorneys general investigations, former-employee lawsuits, worker injury or death, insider trading and securities fraud, sexual harassment and discrimination complaints, high-profile medical malpractice lawsuits, E-coli contamination, meningitis outbreaks and a wide variety of health care issues.


One East Wacker Drive, Suite 2450
Chicago, IL 60601
Fax: 312/558-5425

Jill Allread, APR, President & CEO
Pamela Oettel, CFO & COO

Protesters are attracting media crews outside your gates, your board chair has been accused of sexual harassment, a new study trashes your miracle drug. Each situation could be your organization’s undoing.

For all of our 52 years, PCI has been helping clients manage crises. The core principles remain the same. Assess the situation. Communicate clearly and honestly. And do it quickly. Those first few hours can make the difference between a crisis that is contained and soon forgotten, and one that becomes part of your media boilerplate. We continuously adapt these tried and true principles to a world in which good news and bad, fact and rumor, travel at lightning speed, disseminated by anyone with a laptop, cell phone, blog or Twitter account.

We are always on call to counsel clients in crisis. And, when it’s calm, we help our clients avoid, anticipate and prepare, so that if a crisis does strike, it becomes the type that is soon forgotten.


301 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022

Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO
Louise Harris, Chief Global Strategist
Rachel Spielman, Global Head of Corporate Communications

Ruder Finn, a leading independent global communications agency, has vast experience navigating high-profile public crises at transformational moments for some of the world’s biggest institutions and organizations. Our dedicated team of experts have been rapidly deployed globally to manage crises and issues in the areas of litigation, regulation, service and quality, employee safety, executive pay scrutiny, privacy, data security, product recalls, public health, restructuring and change management. In particular, Ruder Finn has helped clients through crises in healthcare, including regulatory activity and community backlash; technology, including privacy and security; and consumer, including unforeseen events and product quality issues.
Ruder Finn’s expertise lies in helping clients anticipate, prepare for and respond to crises and shape stakeholders’ opinions at critical times. The agency takes a systematic and comprehensive approach to planning and managing crises including risk mapping, influencer and community engagement, global media relations, public policy, materials development, advocacy engagement, and internal communications tactics. The crisis and issues team also works closely with Ruder Finn’s award-winning digital practice, RFI Studios, to design and deploy innovative online and social media communications strategies and tools to monitor and respond to online conversations, and to keep ahead of the rapid spread of information to protect reputation. This includes predictive analysis tools for monitoring and managing online firestorms, combining traditional social media monitoring with sophisticated social network analysis to provide insight into what is getting traction online and what conversations are predicted to increase.


Sachs Media Group
114 S. Duval St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Fax: 850/224-2882

Sachs Media Group is renowned for helping clients successfully navigate disaster. The key priority is to positively respond to a crisis – preventing inaction, or the wrong action, from becoming a "crisis within a crisis."

Calm, candor and class – our choice to enhance, not just maintain, a client’s reputation. We take a client from defense to offense -- leading the way to higher ground, where a foundation for the future is established.

Our senior team comes from the ranks of the media and government, giving the firm outstanding relationships to draw upon and excellent news judgment in crafting effective messages. We are skilled in devising and executing quick response plans to help our clients avoid crisis – but to effectively handle them when they arise.

The difference is results at Sachs Media Group.


630 Third Ave., 9th Fir.
New York, NY 10017

George Sard, Chairman & CEO
Paul Verbinnen, President

Sard Verbinnen & Co is a leading strategic corporate and financial communications firm with offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. We provide communications counsel and services to clients including multinational corporations, smaller public and private companies, investment firms, financial and professional service firms, and high-profile individuals.

The firm’s highly experienced senior professionals provide sound, objective advice and execution support to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Our work encompasses corporate positioning, media relations and investor relations, transaction communications, litigation support, crisis communications, special situations, and social media and online communications.

We are regularly cited as one of the top M&A and crisis communications advisors in North America.

Founded in 1992, our firm is recognized for delivering candid and thoughtful strategic advice, excellent written product and tactical execution, and tireless advocacy on behalf of our clients.

Our senior professionals are actively engaged in both counsel and implementation. Their diverse backgrounds and expertise, unparalleled relationships and credibility with the media, and deep understanding of the investment community drive the firm’s ability to help our clients manage complex situations and communicate to multiple constituencies successfully.


Member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group
2 Oliver Street, Suite 402
Boston, MA 02109

Joan Schneider, Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Phil Pennellatore, President

A hallmark of Schneider Associates’ 35-year history is our ability to counsel companies and individuals during a crisis situation. While we hope our clients never face a crisis, we stand ready when a major issue threatens a company’s growth or reputation.

SA has been relied upon to handle communications for everything from white-collar crime, product recalls, fires, accidental on-the-job deaths, securities fraud, sexual harassment, legal issues, social or digital media issues, and other business situations requiring a prompt response. Through the years, we have been successful in averting crises through preparation and creating solid, actionable plans prior to any crisis occurring.

Schneider Associates is a full-service public relations firm specializing in Launch Public Relations®, a proprietary method of successfully launching and accelerating visibility for new products, services, companies, organizations, institutions and communities. Learn more at


11999 San Vicente Blvd. Penthouse
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Fax: 310/788-2855

7 Times Square, #2600
New York, NY 10036-6524
Fax: 212/573-6165

333 West Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606

San Francisco office
Fax: 415/644-0241

Washington D.C. Office

Michael S. Sitrick, Chairman & CEO
Tom Becker, Head of the New York Office
Lance Ignon, Head of the San Francisco Office
Danielle Newman, Firm Member
Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, (USA Ret.), Managing Director and Practice Lead

Sitrick And Company is widely regarded as one of North America’s leading strategic communications firms. While it has substantial practices in corporate, financial, transactional and crisis communications, Sitrick is best known for representing clients facing sensitive issues, including reputation management, complex litigation, problems emanating from short-sellers, mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. The New York Times called Sitrick “The City’s Most Prominent Crisis Management Firm.” Sitrick is not a traditional PR firm. Business Week said, the “firm is known for going atomic on opponents, using ‘truth squads,’ ‘wheel-of-pain’ tactics and high-profile journalists (who write profiles).” The general counsel of a major publicly-traded company wrote simply in an email, “You saved the company, literally.” Please visit for more information on the firm including a list of current and former clients for which its work has been public.


7 Times Square, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10036

Elliot Sloane, CEO

Sloane & Company is a specialist public relations firm that focuses principally on corporate and financial media relations, investor relations, crisis communications, transaction support, business to business public relations, and public affairs. We provide both strategic counsel and tactical support to leading public and private companies, both domestically and around the world.

Our clients represent a wide array of industries — healthcare, financial services, technology, telecom, media and travel to name a few. Unlike many smaller firms, we have not built practice specialties limited to one or two industries. Because we enjoy a broad worldview and are students of our profession, we can share different approaches and best practices across our client base.

We believe in building partnerships with our clients. We work quickly and immerse ourselves fully to understand a client’s operations, culture, storylines, opportunities and issues. We then build thoughtful communications programs that deliver the right messages to the right constituencies using the right vehicles.


177 Milk Street, Suite 610
Boston, MA 02109
Twitter: @SolomonMcCown

54 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018

Helene Solomon, CEO
E. Ashley McCown, President

With offices in Boston and New York, Solomon McCown (SM&) supports clients that face complex, mission-critical issues at the intersection of public policy and business. The firm works within healthcare and real estate and with corporations and non-profit organizations to deliver strategic communications, messaging, public affairs and crisis communications services through media relations & training, digital, social & video that help clients achieve the definition, recognition and protection needed to meet their goals. We believe that at the core of advancing an organization’s mission is protecting it. Crisis management is a defining strength of our organization. Our nationally-recognized senior team of crisis managers comes from journalism and politics. We have developed crisis plans for corporations, institutions, and mission-focused organizations, and have played a key role in many sensitive and complex issues including those involving public agencies and non-profits, data breaches, public health issues, labor negotiations and strikes, bankruptcies and business failures, accusations of sexual harassment and abuse including Title IX, state and federal investigations, and workplace violence. We excel at working with in-house and outside legal counsel and corporate communications teams to devise communications strategies to dovetail with the legal strategy.

Jill Schmidt

Jill Schmidt, Senior Principal and Practice Chair at Spong.


110 North Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Doug Spong, President
Julie Batliner, Managing Director
Jill Schmidt, Senior Principal

Spong’s crisis and issues management specialty group assists clients in preparing for a crisis and when unforeseen or unplanned events threaten to disrupt the public or internal perception of their business or organization. At Spong, we advocate a crisis “preparedness” discipline and believe that direct communication with stakeholders is key. We recognize that crisis management requires a collaborative, integrated approach. Spong is widely regarded for its ability to partner with senior executives, legal advisors and other internal and external crisis team members and partners to mitigate crises and minimize the impact on the organization’s reputation and business. With offices in Minneapolis and New York, our team includes experts across a range of disciplines, including social media, media relations, internal communications, investor relations and public affairs, among others. Spong’s crisis and issues management experience includes: Litigation (e.g., employment matters, business disputes, shareholder lawsuits, class-action litigation, etc.); data breaches; negative research outcome management; labor disputes (e.g., strikes and other labor actions, union organizing campaigns); product recalls, failure, tampering, etc.; financial-related issues (e.g., earnings surprises, restatements, bankruptcies, hostile takeover attempts, etc.); regulatory actions and investigations; accidents (e.g., workplace, transport mishaps, etc.); environmental matters and real estate site selection; restructurings, downsizings, management changes, divestitures, and consumer advocacy group actions. Spong is owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies.


880 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10022
Fax: 212/366-5301

Stanton Public Relations & Marketing helps clients fully contain crisis situations by managing associated media coverage, developing proactive campaigns to offset reputation damage, and repairing relationships with key audiences. We work effectively alongside legal counsel, executives and third parties to help organizations of all sizes deal with any crisis situation they may encounter.

Our experience spans a variety of challenges including, corporate litigation, consumer and special-interest protests, CEO transitions, workplace misconduct, financial improprieties, environmental issues, and product tampering, to name a few. We work with our clients to preemptively incorporate crisis planning into communications programs and provide top-level strategic guidance to help protect corporate and brand reputation before, during, and after crises.

We take the same approach in crisis management that we do in our everyday work: ask the tough questions, challenge assumptions, develop bold solutions, and execute effectively.


909 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Micho Spring, Chair, Global Corporate Practice

Peter Duda, Executive Vice President/Management Supervisor, Co-Head Global Crisis and Issues

Lance Morgan, Chief Communications Strategist

Rod Clayton, Executive Vice President, Co-Head Global Crisis and Issues

In the digital and globally interconnected world we live in today, the immediacy of events impacts everything — from seismic global business and policy issues to the seemingly insignificant second-to-second conversations on social media. We all operate “In the Now,” where everything is knowable and sharable as events unfold through the 24-hour news cycle, citizen journalists, content aggregators that prioritize trending topics and stories and, of course, social media.

Our global crisis practice encompasses a team of senior professionals who possess an unparalleled mastery of protecting corporate reputation in the digital age. Working in partnership with our clients, we understand that preserving corporate and brand reputations are the highest priorities. We ensure that all constituencies that have a stake in the outcome are addressed, and are expert in managing social and digital, as well as traditional media. As such, Weber Shandwick offers the full cycle of issues and crisis management.

Our Crisis practice has provided counsel to many Fortune 500 companies and we meet their needs with expertise and insight. We have successfully managed crises in a wide number of areas including environmental and safety issues, litigation, activist campaigns, political pressure at the local, regional and state level, regulatory actions, operational crises and negative press. We have managed acts of terrorism, environmental disasters and product recalls, proxy battles, federal investigations, investigative media reports and board disputes.

In addition to strategic counsel, Weber Shandwick offers educational tools and trainings to prepare clients for a potential crisis. Since 2010 we have conducted interactive, multimedia crisis simulations with firebell, our award-winning proprietary simulator tool, which allows clients the opportunity to stress-test plans and messaging in an environment that mimics real-time social and broadcast media pressures. All of our crisis response trainings are paired with discussions of proactive approaches that can mitigate risk and minimize damage in event of a crisis.


1101 E 33rd Street, Suite C303
Baltimore, MD 21218

Ray Weiss, President

Jessica Trzyna, Executive Vice President

Matt Pugh, Vice President

Founded in 2008, Weiss PR, Inc. helps businesses and non-profit organizations reach, engage, and influence the right audiences in order to achieve their communications and business objectives.

We serve organizations in five key industry sectors —Construction (including commercial real estate development, architecture, design, and engineering); Healthcare and Employee Benefits; Professional Services; Technology; and Nonprofit Organizations. While the specific services we offer vary by client, we focus primarily on media and influencer relations, social media, and marketing services, all of which are anchored by strategic communications planning.

In addition, we have extensive experience in crisis communications, including strategy development and rapid response implementation for both corporations and individual executives. Our background features work on crises for government agencies, nationally-recognized corporations, commercial real estate firms, and healthcare organizations, among others.

At Weiss PR, you’ll find ideas built on strategy — not egos — from a team of senior-level public relations professionals who are committed to providing exceptional service, great work, and measurable results.

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