January would not be complete without our annual PR Services & Products Buyer’s Guide and special issue on Crisis Communications. We examine 2020’s biggest winners and as well as the top PR blunders of the past year.
O'Dwyer's magazine, now in its 35th year, is the #1 publication for PR and marketing communications pros.
Profiles of Crisis Communications Firms:
5W Public Relations
299 Park Ave., Floor 10
New York, NY 10171
Ronn D. Torossian, Founder & CEO
Dara Busch, Matthew Caiola, Presidents
Founded in 2003, 5W Public Relations is focused on bringing forward-thinking communications and lasting results to clients across B2C and B2B categories. Specializing in highly charged issues and crisis management for companies or individuals facing unanticipated difficulties in the marketplace —from rumors to recalls—5W is ready to respond within minutes.
With more than 20 years of experience creating powerful narratives, CEO Ronn Torossian is one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, and was named a top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider in 2020.
From counseling blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide, 5W will immediately implement a real-time, round-the-clock communications strategy and a team to guide you through a crisis situation and help mitigate the issue(s) you face.
277 Park Avenue, 39th Floor
New York, NY 10172
Tom Johnson, CEO
Carina Davidson, President
Abernathy MacGregor is a strategic communications firm specializing in advising CEOs, board directors and senior executives on effective stakeholder communications, engagement and advocacy initiatives in today’s highly complex, dynamic and interconnected world. The firm has a proven 35-year history helping clients build and preserve value, seize opportunities and solve problems.
We have advised on some of the largest highest-profile corporate crises spanning Board-led investigations, cybersecurity incidents, product recalls, labor issues, SEC matters, ethics violations and more. Our approach has helped our clients achieve superior outcomes by helping them successfully navigate a crisis and return to business as usual while mitigating potential damage and keeping their reputation intact.
Companies today face multifaceted and rapidly evolving challenges as business, political and social issues converge. Effective communications have never been more important to producing results. At Abernathy, we help corporate leaders bridge stakeholder concerns from Wall Street to Main Street to Washington and beyond. We believe highly customized and holistic communications strategies build and protect value, advance stakeholder relations and achieve real results.
Bishoff Communications LLC
Janey Bishoff, CEO
Bishoff Communications LLC is a highly respected and recognized crisis resource with 30+ years of deep experience successfully managing dozens of crises and serious negative situations that threatened the organization’s reputation, financial value, or existence.
These ranged from #MeToo to high profile accidents, crimes, and fatalities to food safety, product recalls, sexual harassment, leadership termination, sexual abuse, bankruptcies, lay-offs, data breaches, litigation, and dozens of other negative incidents and situations.
We help organizations prepare with comprehensive risk management planning including developing Crisis Management Playbooks and conducting Risk Management & Crisis Prevention Audits.
In crisis situations we move quickly to assist 24/7, providing strategic counsel and hands-on assistance to contain, mitigate, or ameliorate a negative situation and protect reputation.
We work in close collaboration with our clients and their professional advisors—including legal, financial, and others. Chosen by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly readers in Best Crisis Management category (2018; 2019; 2020).
Boardroom Communications, Inc.
1776 N Pine Island Road, Suite 320
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33322
Orlando-Tampa-Naples-Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm-Aspen
Don Silver, Chief Operating Officer
Todd Templin, Executive Vice President
Crisis Management: Preventing and Preparing for Potential Problems.
BoardroomPR is one of Florida’s top PR agencies offering statewide coverage. The firm’s experienced staff of public relations and crisis management professionals routinely handle high-profile crisis projects and public affairs campaigns each year. Examples include: investigations, hostile takeovers, litigation, product recalls, criminal charges, safety compliance issues, accidental deaths, project approvals, bid objections and legislative campaigns.
Whether you’re pre-developing a crisis communications plan or responding to an urgent threat, Boardroom’s trusted and respected team will help you evaluate the situation, mitigate the risks and deal with your most important audiences, including media, social media, employees, stakeholders, customers, government and others. We immediately consult with your executives to assess the situation and develop an appropriate strategy and plan. Out team monitors traditional media, blogs and social networking sites and handles all inquiries. Call or email us if you are faced with a situation where a capable, seasoned crisis management team can help guide you to a satisfactory resolution.
Butler Associates, LLC
353 Lexington Ave., 17th flr.
New York, NY 10016
Thomas P. Butler, President
Butler Associates maintains offices in New York City and Stamford, CT.
2019 Winner of PRSA-New York’s Best of the Best Award. Recent winner of other top PRSA-NY & Greater Connecticut Mercury Award accolades: 2020 & 2018 Best Legal Marketing Campaign & Best Business Communications Campaign & Best Public Affairs Campaign, plus Best PR & Political Messaging Campaign in U.S./Canada by the International Association of Fire Fighters. Butler is among New York’s top agencies for its legal, business, financial, professional services, public affairs, environmental and crisis management practice results. Butler Associates is a team of exceptional communicators with a proven track record of consistent, creative, high-impact results.
Butler Associates campaigns range from victorious Fortune 50 shareholder proxy matters, messaging for significant litigations, crisis, public affairs, and public safety campaigns. The CEO’s and organizational leaders we advocate on behalf of, are highly visible and respected experts and opinion leaders within their industries. The Butler group includes smart, seasoned media and communications pros absolutely committed to their clients and delivering results. Its Litical Solutions division produces consistent digital online engagement.
Clients include: American Triple I Partners, Association of BellTel Retirees, Inc., Association of DuPont Retirees, Barasch McGarry P.C., Cognitive Assessment Group, Core Theatre Company, Davidoff Hutcher Citron LLP, De Caro & Kaplen LLP, Election Systems & Software, Fleet Financial, FDNY EMS Local 2507, Friars Club, Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Home Health Care Workers of America, Home Health Care Employers Association of New York, Hooks for Heroes, Hunts Point Cooperative Market, Knights of Saint Patrick of New York City, M-Fire Suppression, Inc., Metropolitan Package Store Association, New York City Fire Pension Fund, New York Production Alliance, Patriot Bank, NA, Plaza College, Sharps Technology, Inc., Siebert Williams Shank & Co., L.L.C., Stamford Innovation Week, Stamford Partnership, Stamford Police Association, Zalkin Law Firm and Zara Realty Holdings Corp.
250 Hudson St., 16th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR; Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; The Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).
A division of Off Madison Ave
Consistently recognized as one of the nation’s top public relations firms, Fineman PR, founded in 1988 and headquartered in San Francisco, specializes in crisis communications, brand messaging, community relations and digital and social media marketing.
This past November, Fineman PR was acquired by Phoenix-based, full-service marketing communications firm Off Madison Ave, one of the leading behavioral marketing and digital communications providers in the West. Off Madison Ave brings compelling solutions to influence how people interact and engage with brands. Founded in 1998 and with an office in Boulder, Colorado, Off Madison Ave offers integrated services across creative, paid media, public relations, social, interactive, application development and branding.
Fineman PR’s high-profile crisis communications work is nationally recognized. In today’s fast-paced culture of instant media exposure, online defamation and quick-draw lawsuits, the agency’s battle-tested experience and strategic resourcefulness guide clients through rough waters. Agency President Michael Fineman is ranked among the nation’s top crisis counselors. Fineman PR works extensively on reputation building, crisis preparedness, crisis communications and reputation recovery with a wide range of organizations, from law firms, schools and government agencies to food companies, Fortune 500 corporations and startups.
301 East 57th St.
New York, NY 10022
Jessica Berk Ross, Managing Partner, Public Affairs Global Practice Leader, Crisis Management Lead Coordinator Washington, DC,
Ryan Barr, Managing Partner, Global Financial
Gil Bashe, Managing Partner, Global Health
Chantal Bowman-Boyles, JD, Managing Partner, Europe
Nicole Cottrill, Sen. Partner, Nashville, Health
Robin Crawford, Sen. Partner, Washington, DC, Public Affairs
Margaret Dunning, Managing Partner, Higher Education
Kyle Farnham, Managing Partner, Global Consumer
Michael Heinley, Sen. Partner, Health Litigation
Kristie Kuhl, JD, Managing Partner, Biopharma
Fern Lazar, Managing Partner, Investor Relations
John Seigenthaler, Partner, Nashville, National Media
Howard Solomon, Managing Partner, Technology.
Yeap Yin Ching, Managing Partner, Asia
Jessica Berk Ross, Managing Partner, Public Affairs Global Practice Leader, FINN.
Finn Partners has been ranked among the world’s leading public relations agencies by The Holmes Report and PRNews has acknowledged FINN senior staff as “Crisis Communicators of the Year.” Our depth of knowledge within these industries offers clients access to the influencers, media and policymakers that impact corporate reputation and economic sustainability.
From business transformation, cybersecurity, executive leadership transition, financial restatement, government investigation, product recall to shareholder relations, our experts in Consumer Products, Health, Economic Development, Education, Manufacturing, Public Affairs, Sustainability, Technology and Travel, blend crisis experience with sector expertise to help organizations weather the storm and emerge stronger. At a time of rapid public engagement and social media escalation, when issues rise to the level of business disruption, or threaten reputations, our team of skilled crisis experts helps clients navigate difficult situations, maintain the confidence of key stakeholders, and protect brands.
Finsbury Glover Hering
3 Columbus Circle, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Alexander Geiser, CEO
Finsbury Glover Hering is a leading global communications consultancy, supporting clients around the globe as they navigate increasingly complex business, policy, political and cultural environments.
We understand that the world is changing rapidly, with evolving societal expectations shaping business opportunities and redefining markets. Informed by data and executed with creativity, our -campaigns draw from the disciplines of strategic communications, reputation management and advocacy.
Through our experience managing some of the toughest political and corporate engagements of the last 30 years, we know what it takes to win. We have built a global team of extraordinarily talented and dynamic thinkers, writers and influencers from diverse backgrounds, bound together by trust and a collaborative, client-centered culture.
When the stakes are highest, our clients trust that we can help them reach the audiences who matter most, own the conversation, and deliver results.
200 N. Broadway
St. Louis, MO 63102
Ken Fields, Americas Crisis Lead
FleishmanHillard maintains the world’s largest and most geographically diverse crisis management practice. Crisis counselors guide clients through some of the biggest challenges organizations face including public health emergencies, cybersecurity incidents, litigation, executive changes, labor disputes, government investigations, product failures and recalls, natural disasters, workforce reductions and activism.
Crises provide the ultimate test of organizations and management teams, but FleishmanHillard’s proprietary crisis management approach—the A.R.C.™ (Assess, Resolve, Control) methodology —guides clients through high-stakes situations. Through our industry-leading training program, developed with the input of crisis management veterans and educators, FleishmanHillard certifies each member of its global team of senior crisis counselors to use the A.R.C.™ methodology to manage the most challenging situations.
If you’d like to learn more, please contact Ken Fields, Americas Crisis Lead: email@example.com.
FTI Consulting, Inc.
555 12th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Mark McCall, Global Segment Leader
C-suites, boards of directors, and business leaders from around the world come to FTI Strategic Communications with their most complex, business-critical issues that require diverse skill sets and integrated disciplines. As part of a global business advisory firm, we help these organizations manage change, mitigate risk and enhance their market position by combining decades of deep subject matter expertise with functional and disciplinary experience.
Our financial communications professionals serve as trusted advisors to management teams on a range of capital markets events as well as other stakeholder issues throughout the corporate life-cycle. We help clients navigate their most pressing challenges and opportunities around M&A, IPOs, restructuring, capital raising, corporate governance, ESG strategy, proxy fights, and shareholder activism. Our integrated capabilities in financial communications, corporate reputation and public affairs help clients protect and drive business value.
Gladstone Place Partners
485 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Steven Lipin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Lauren Odell, Partner and Chief Operating Officer
Christina Stenson, Partner
Gladstone Place Partners’ diverse and experienced team is designed to meet the evolving strategic communications needs of leading companies’ CEOs, boards of directors and heads of communications. Clients seek out Gladstone Place Partners for counsel on a range of matters, including mergers & acquisitions, crisis situations, corporate reputation and strategic positioning issues, IPOs & spinoffs, global trade and supply-chain matters, cybersecurity, shareholder activism and corporate governance communications.
Our boutique approach, with a focus on independent advice and confidentiality, enhances our ability to help our clients navigate layered and sensitive matters. We understand the complexity and super-charged nature of today’s communications environment, which is why we have social and digital capabilities embedded in our DNA.
Gladstone Place strives to build long-term, trusted relationships by delivering the highest quality work product, paired with uncompromising ethics, integrity and judgment. Our work is underpinned by a culture of professional excellence, meritocracy and diversity.
Our Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Lipin, has spent more than 30 years at the intersection of the corporate world, Wall Street and the media as a leading financial journalist and top communications strategist to C-suites, boards of directors and chief communications officers. We are an entrepreneurial firm with global capabilities and mindset, with headquarters in New York and an office in San Francisco.
Michael Olguin, CEO
Donovan Roche, VP, Crisis
Havas Formula, recognized by Forbes in 2020 as one of America’s Best PR Agencies, is a fully integrated strategic communications firm headquartered in New York City with offices across the country. The agency, a wholly owned subsidiary of Havas, adheres to “be brave” philosophy and aims to make a meaningful difference to the businesses, the brands and the lives of the people it works with. Led by PR veteran Donovan Roche, the firm’s crisis practice, dubbed Havas Trust, supports clients in diverse industries, ranging from healthcare, technology and financial services to food/beverage, retail and building/real estate. The highly experienced team works with organizations to identify and anticipate potential issues or crises before they occur, and provides the guidance, tools and support to minimize them and thereby protect the brand’s reputation when they do. Its suite of services includes conducting vulnerability assessments, training brand-side crisis management teams, crafting issues and crisis management plans, providing ongoing crisis communications support and executing periodic team practice drills. In its nearly 30-year history, Havas Formula has steered clients through all types of crises, such as public health (including COVID-19), racism issues, employee and executive misconduct, class action lawsuits, sexual harassment cases, product safety/recalls, public protests, site closures and layoffs, injuries/fatalities, and much more.
685 Third Ave., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Thomas Ryan, CEO
Don Duffy, President
Established in 1998, ICR partners with companies to develop and execute strategic communications programs and advisory services that achieve business goals, build credibility, and enhance the long-term value of the enterprise. The firm’s highly differentiated service model, which pairs capital markets veterans with senior communications professionals, brings deep sector knowledge and relationships to clients in more than 20 industries. Today, ICR is one of the largest and most experienced independent advisory firms in the world maintaining offices in Boston, Baltimore, Connecticut, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Beijing.
Clients: Peloton, Zoom Technologies, Dave & Busters, Freshpet, Abbott Labs, FleetCor Technologies, Inc., Fossil, Inc., Genuine Parts Co., Gulf Oil, Gildan Activewear, Samsung/Harman, Herbalife Ltd., HubSpot, lAC, Jarden Corp., Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, Knopp Biosciences, Legg Mason & Co. LLC, lululemon athletica, Intel/Mobileye, Michaels Stores, Michael Kors, New Relic, Edeleman Financial Engines, Paramount Group Inc., Planet Fitness Inc., Shake Shack, Starwood Property Trust, VF Corp., X4 Pharmaceuticals, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Workiva and Zoës Kitchen.
New York Office
340 Madison Avenue, 19th floor
New York, NY 10173
Additional offices: San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC and London
Jamie Diaferia, Founder & CEO
Zach Olsen, President
Infinite Global is an award-winning strategic communications agency advising a wide range of domestic and international clients facing difficult scenarios in which reputational, legal and commercial risk is high.
We advise organizations and individuals, providing counsel and tactical support to mitigate risk and protect reputations when it matters most. We have broad sector experience managing our clients’ reputational risk, often involving active litigation, regulatory and political pressure, media attention and heightened public scrutiny. Infinite has an established data breach response practice that helps clients across a range of industries —including financial and legal services, education and healthcare—mitigate, prepare for and respond to the risks endemic to housing sensitive data.
Our work spans each phase of the crisis lifecycle: from pre-crisis preparation and planning, to rapid crisis response and post-crisis reputational repair.
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
622 Third Avenue, 36th Floor
New York, NY 10017
One California Street,
San Francisco, CA 94111
Joele Frank, Managing Partner
Matthew Sherman, President
The events of 2020 underscore the importance of effective crisis communications across stakeholders. Communications to internal and external audiences must instill confidence, articulate the issues and describe how challenges are being addressed.
Whatever the crisis, Joele Frank supports our clients as they navigate new realities and unexpected circumstances. We help shape and implement effective communications strategies that are transparent and nimble enough to adapt to rapidly evolving situations. While unique situations often require unique solutions, our experience reinforces that there are best practices, and we work with our clients to draw from both the “unique” and the “best.” Indeed, in a crisis, a company is judged not only on the crisis itself, but also how it prepared, managed and communicated through the event.
437 Madison Avenue, 37th Floor New York, NY 10022
Jeremy Fielding, Co-Chief Executive Officer
Bernhard Meising, Co-Chief Executive Officer
Many companies and institutions around the world will confront unforeseen events that may well alter their future, pose unprecedented challenges, and potentially define their reputation for years to come.
What is required in these circumstances is an expert, experienced strategic communications partner to work with senior management and a Board of Directors to develop and execute the necessary integrated communications strategies to gain the trust and confidence of key stakeholders in this era of accelerated change.
Kekst CNC is ideally equipped to help global business and institutional leaders address these challenges ... as well as their opportunities. For 50 years, our team of more than 250 experienced professionals, located in 13 offices around the world, has partnered with leading organizations of all sizes to: articulate new business strategies and a vision for success; explain an enterprise transforming event and its significance; help navigate complex business challenges or crises; build support among key stakeholders; and, work to strengthen and protect our clients’ credibility, reputation, and brand.
As trusted advisors, Kekst CNC’s professionals bring to client engagements high energy, sound judgment and expertise on such high stakes matters as: M&A, shareholder activism and governance, crisis communications, restructurings, regulatory investigations / resolutions, litigation support, complex investor relations, IPO communications, issues and reputation management, leadership transitions, employee engagement, as well as digital and social communications—providing exceptional counsel and execution supported by objective insights, based on access to proprietary research, data and analytics capabilities.
600 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2020.
Miami, FL 33131
Alejandro Romero, Partner & CEO Americas
Global communications and public affairs consulting firm LLYC has an experienced team deeply familiar with U.S. Hispanic and Latino culture, and it is ready to help its clients connect with and manage crises involving these important audiences from its three offices in the United States (Miami, New York, and Washington D.C.) and 13 throughout Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. For its efforts, PRWeek’s Global Agency Business Report 2020 and PRovoke’s 2020 Global Ranking both name LLYC among the 50 most important communication companies in the world.
Always striving to improve the world, LLYC firmly believes honest, intelligent, innovative, and efficient communications foster confidence and understanding among people, companies, and institutions—in other words, the entities that form the foundations of economic and social progress. In this way, LLYC can contribute to solving many of the challenges of our times. It also collaborates with others to look at what will come next, as seen in projects like Future Leaders.
LLYC’s 600+ professionals help its clients make strategic decisions proactively, creatively and based on the necessary experience, then implement those decisions while minimizing risks and harnessing opportunities, always considering their reputational impact. Within a disruptive and uncertain context, LLYC helps its clients to achieve their short-term business goals and define a roadmap with a long-term outlook in order to defend their social license to operate and increase their prestige.
Marathon Strategies LLC
38 E. 29th St., 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016
NY | DC | Albany
Phil Singer, Founder & CEO
Jane Hardey, Managing Director & COO
Ray Hernandez, Managing Director, Research & Investigations
Liz Benjamin, Managing Director, Albany
Alison Reemer, Managing Director, Client Services
Michael Harinstein, Chief Marketing Officer
Jim Scott Polsinelli, Chief Creative Officer
Crisis and issues management, strategic communications, public affairs, media relations, research and investigation, digital, creative and content, field services and stakeholder engagement.
Marathon Strategies is an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions for the world’s top corporations, brands, and associations. We specialize in crisis and issues management, reputation management, public affairs, communications, creative content, and digital strategy. Instead of solely relying on traditional or earned media, Marathon combines research, digital, and communications strategies to meet complex PR challenges with simple solutions.
No organization is immune from a negative news cycle, and we believe the best way to respond to a crisis is to anticipate and be prepared for it in the first place. From developing proactive media outreach strategies to mitigating crises and generating original content, Marathon helps our clients plan for and manage any reputational issue that may impact an organization.
Our crisis services include crisis and issues management programs, protocols, tools, and training aimed at minimizing the impact and shortening the lifespan of a negative news cycle. And all of our clients have real-time and around-the-clock access to client account leads and senior leadership who provide thoughtful communications counsel and strategy when and where you need it.
The Montgomery Strategies Group
2445 M St., NW, Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20037
Michael W. Robinson, Chairman & CEO
The Montgomery Strategies Group is a full-service agency with broad expertise in crisis and litigation communications, reputation management, public affairs and regulatory advocacy, financial communications and transactions, as well as marketing and brand awareness.
We draw on decades of collective experience as trusted counselors and strategists to public and private company C-Suite executives, boards of directors, private equity investors, hedge fund managers, and trade association officials— with a team that includes former senior communications leaders from the SEC, The White House, Department of Justice, FINRA, NASDAQ, Capitol Hill, The New York Times, a host of Fortune 500 companies—T-Mobile, Lenovo, Honeywell, GE, Freddie Mac, and Exxon-Mobile among them—as well as a cross-section of global consultancies.
The breadth of our award-winning team includes expertise across all types of criminal and civil litigation, regulatory enforcement and policy actions, congressional and state AG investigations, and securing the legislative/regulatory approvals necessary to complete key corporate transactions. We provide proven depth in a number of industries and issues, with a particular focus on financial services, banking, and tax; healthcare and medical devices; consumer-facing industries and product recall; data privacy, cyber breach, and technology policy; global trade and supply chain; and corporate governance.
We have teams and partners in: New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Nashville and London.
1250 Broadway, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Michael Kempner, Founder & CEO
Bret Werner, President
Carreen Winters, Chief Strategy Officer
Crises happen. Today, organizations face an ever-increasing range of risks from product recalls, cyberattacks and executive mismanagement to labor disputes, regulatory violations, and harassment/discrimination allegations. It’s no longer a matter of if a crisis will hit, but rather, when and how? In a 24/7, hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world, it critical to be prepared with the tools and resources to manage the situation quickly and effectively to limit potential damages to your brand and reputation.
MWWPR approaches crisis engagements with a foundation of reputation management best practices, and commitment of a senior team that is practiced, capable and understands impact to each of your audiences. The firm has expanded its offering of vulnerability assessments, crisis planning and table-top exercises to include a suite of innovative digital tools and services from predicative analytics, crisis planning and response effectiveness. This approach has:
• Helped leading global food companies respond to COVID-19, social justice issues, workplace violence, regulatory/legislative inquiries to attacks/campaigns by animal rights and environmental activists
• Created plans for clients in the airline, automotive, food, hospitality, nutritional, retail, technology and travel/tourism sectors
• Helped travel/tourism organizations across the US and abroad respond to natural disasters, terrorism incidents and criminal acts
• Provided labor relations/issues management communications programs for clients in the airline, automotive, gaming, healthcare, retail and transportation sectors
• Managed communications for a professional sports team dealing with sexual harassment/discrimination allegations and multi-faceted litigation
• Served on the crisis go-team for numerous national and international airlines and dealt with a wide range of aircraft, employee, customer and industry issues
1101 West River Parkway
Suite 400 (Headquarters)
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Brian Ellis, Executive Vice President
Bob McNaney, Senior Vice President
Crises can come from any direction, and each one represents a moment of truth for your brand and your reputation. Fortunately, the Crisis + Critical Issues Team at Padilla is prepared to shepherd our clients through the storm with a thorough, rapid-response protocol and our 24-hour emergency hotline (1.877.PR ER 911). We provide our clients with the confidence to manage challenging situations and credible messaging that protects their reputations.
That work begins before the crisis strikes. We first help our clients measure their level of preparedness with our Crisis IQ. Based on that analysis, we develop plans and messaging to address the primary threats facing the business and practice drills designed to expose them to the pressures of a real crisis.
Padilla is an independently operated, globally resourced public relations and communication company with offices across the United States. The agency builds, grows and protects brands and reputations worldwide by creating purposeful connections with the people who matter most through public relations, advertising, digital and social marketing, investor relations and brand strategy. Padilla includes the brand consultancy of Joe Smith, the food and nutrition experts at FoodMinds and the research authorities at SMS Research Advisors. Padilla is an AVENIR GLOBAL company and a founding member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, a partnership of 132 independently owned partner offices in 115 cities on six continents.
470 Park Ave. South, 5th flr. North
New York, NY 10016
Steve Cody, CEO and Founder
Ann Barlow, Senior Partner & President, West Coast
Stephen Corsi, Senior Partner & Chief Digital Officer
Jacqueline Kolek, Senior Partner & General Manager, New York Office
Tara Lilien, Partner & Chief Talent Officer
Maggie O’Neill, Senior Partner & Chief Client Officer
The seemingly never-ending crises of 2020 have sown chaos and confusion around the globe, and given rise to, and focus on, stakeholder capitalism. In such tumultuous times, brands have unsurprisingly found themselves confounded by what to say, when to say it, to whom and where, without adding to the anxiety or stirring up issues.
Peppercomm is an award-winning strategic, integrated communications and marketing agency headquartered in NYC with offices in San Francisco and London. The firm combines 26 award-winning years of expertise supporting blue chip and breakout clients through a wide variety of crises including consumer product recalls, social media gaffes and class action lawsuits. In each case, we helped these clients navigate through the uncertainty, manage their reputations, and survive intact.
Though many brands have access to extensive market research, it’s usually delivered six months too late to provide insights into stakeholders needs. To help organizations navigate how to best communicate with stakeholder audiences, Peppercomm offers Mindset.AI which identifies impact, where they are engaging and what they are saying, and where they will be in the future.
Visit www.peppercomm.com or find us @Peppercomm.
PRCG | Haggerty LLC
45 Broadway, Ste. 3140
New York, NY 10006
James F. Haggerty, President & CEO
PRCG | Haggerty LLC and its sports brand, PRCG | Sports, are internationally known for excellence in the management of complex crisis communications and litigation public relations matters. Repeatedly ranked as one of the top public relations firms in the United States by the highly regarded international directory Chambers & Partners, the firm is headquartered in New York, with affiliations across the country and around the world—including through The Crisis Protection Network (crisis-protection.net).
PRCG | Haggerty and its consultants have worked with some of the leading individuals, corporations and nonprofit organizations in the nation on sensitive reputational issues, strategic positioning, crisis and litigation communications, and messaging. By properly framing issues and perceptions, PRCG works with clients to change conventional thinking and inoculate against negatives. The firm is particularly experienced in industries that include healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services, manufacturing, retailing, sports and legal services.
In the area of litigation public relations, PRCG | Haggerty is a pioneer with a 20-year track record in some of the largest cases of their kind in history. In both crisis and litigation communications, the firm emphasizes the importance of planning, training and coordination between legal, public relations and C-level executives, and is the creator of the award-winning CrisisResponsePro software, which provides resources and collaborative tools to streamline the speed and effectiveness of crisis communications response. The firm is also skilled in advanced social media and SEO strategies, as well as in the critical integration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives into the crisis planning framework.
An acclaimed attorney and author, PRCG CEO James F. Haggerty has been called “a powerhouse” in the field who “operates at a different level” than most PR professionals. Haggerty has also been named one of “50 Game-Changers of PR” by PR News for his “pioneering” work in the field of litigation communications. Haggerty is the author of two of the leading books in the field of crisis and litigation communications: In The Court Of Public Opinion: Winning Your Case With Public Relations, which is now in its Third Edition and has been called “the perfect handbook for this age” by Financial Times; and Chief Crisis Officer: Structure and Leadership for Effective Communications Response, which was positively featured in The Harvard Business Review, Fortune and Entrepreneur magazines, among other media outlets.
405 Lexington Ave., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10174
Rich Myers, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Greg Marose, Co-Founder and Partner
Profile is a top corporate, financial and special situations communications consultancy that excels at content development, media management and investor and stakeholder engagement.
In contrast to a typical public relations firm, Profile has built a nationally-recognized Crisis & Special Situations practice by serving as a holistic strategic advisor to clients navigating activism campaigns and proxy contests, bankruptcies, legal and regulatory issues, and transactions. Over the past three years, Profile has represented clients involved in more than 60 activism situations, 30 bankruptcies and 30 litigation disputes.
Learn how Profile can help your firm navigate contested situations and transformation periods at www.profileadvisors.com.
Public Communications Inc.
Partner in The Worldcom Public Relations Group
One E. Wacker Drive, 24th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Jill Allread, APR, CEO
Craig Pugh, APR, President
Pamela Oettel, COO/CFO
Bringing calm and strategy to clients in crisis, Public Communications Inc. works closely with our clients to prepare them to effectively handle situations that can threaten an organization’s brand and erode consumer confidence. We partner with clients from prevention through the challenges of managing issues to then thriving in post-crisis recovery.
PCI’s experienced counselors consistently delivers award-winning campaigns for clients with reputation management and enhancement needs in all fields, including healthcare companies and associations; conservation, zoo and aquarium organizations; government agencies and nonprofits of all sizes. When an organization faces trouble, a thorough and strategic crisis communications plan is vital. We work with clients to identify, plan for, and mitigate crises that have the potential to negatively shape public opinion and disrupt business.
The PCI team has extensive experience helping clients manage their reputational risk through crisis communications planning and implementation. We also have specialists to provide spokesperson training and coaching on how to best articulate company values and messages that can restore the public faith and support.
PCI offers clients a specialized, post-crisis communication recovery model based on rapid response; ongoing and proactive communication; and inspired thought leadership that is critical to companies of all sizes. In recent years, PCI developed deep experience and skills in assisting clients to communicate effectively through natural and man-made disasters and through personnel and labor issues, including cases of #MeToo allegations and company culture change.
1 Chatsworth Avenue, #524
Larchmont, NY 10538
Brandy Bergman, CEO and Founding Partner
Hugh Burns, Founding Partner
Paul Caminiti, Founding Partner
Delia Cannan, Founding Partner
Renée Soto, Founding Partner
Reevemark is a strategic communications firm founded by five experienced practitioners, four of whom are lawyers, to help clients address the most serious issues impacting their value or reputation. Reevemark focuses on what matters: providing candid, results-oriented communications counsel.
Our practice areas include crisis and reputation management, litigation communications, shareholder activism, transactions, restructurings, and corporate positioning programs. We have extensive experience guiding public and private companies, as well as high-profile individuals, through complex matters. We provide crisis preparedness, response planning, and real-time support in the areas of litigation and regulatory matters, executive misconduct, #MeToo and other personnel issues, financial disclosure and operational issues, cyber incidents, data breaches and privacy matters and product and customer relations issues. We help companies effectively communicate their messages while managing legal and reputational risks.
We are tireless advocates on behalf of our clients with the media and other constituents. Every situation is different, and we pride ourselves on closely partnering with our clients and other advisors—either on the front lines or behind the scenes—to provide strategic counsel and to deliver the best results.
114 S. Duval St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
For 25 years, Sachs Media has helped diverse sectors navigate the treacherous waters of high-profile crises with smart, strong, strategic support through its seasoned crisis management team. Sachs Media was named by Forbes a Top 200, five-star rated PR firm nationally for 2021. The key to weathering any crisis is preparation. That’s where Sachs Media’s trademarked Crisis Defense™ comes in—to actively help you prepare, train, develop and deploy an effective plan to help ready your organization in advance of a crisis and support you all through it.
Sard Verbinnen & Co
909 Third Avenue, 32nd Floor
New York, NY 10022
Office Locations: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Houston, Hong Kong, Washington, D.C., Boston.
George Sard, Chairman & Co-CEO
Paul Verbinnen, Co-CEO
Andrew Cole, Co-President
Paul Kranhold, Co-President
Bruce Haynes, Managing Director and Chairman of SVC Public Affairs
SVC provides candid, pragmatic counsel to boards, senior executives, and high-profile individuals on a wide range of crises and special situations, from product recalls and industrial catastrophes, to sudden leadership changes and major regulatory events. We understand the critical importance of speed, combined with sophisticated strategic thinking and robust, agile execution. Our role includes strategy development and ongoing counsel, research and message testing, preparation of multi-audience communications, development and execution of social media and digital strategies, media relations, investor relations, on-site support, and post-event reputation tracking.
SVC is a recognized leader in strategic communications with over 25 years of experience supporting clients on long-term positioning and high-stakes situations. We are experienced in communicating with all key stakeholders, including journalists, investors, analysts, employees, lawmakers and regulators.
Office Locations: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Houston, Hong Kong, Washington, D.C., Boston.
1140 Connecticut Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20036
Erik Smith, Founding Partner
Allison Fastow, Founding Partner
David Di Martino, Founding Partner
Trevor Francis, Founding Partner
Tom O'Neill, Founding Partner
Seven Letter, a full-service strategic communications firm with specialties in crisis communications, creative content development, brand and reputation management, public affairs, digital strategy and grasstops/grassroots mobilization, has grown in both scope and market share in recent years. The firm was founded as Blue Engine Message & Media in 2006. In 2018, it acquired JDA Frontline, a competing strategic communications firm, to cement its bipartisan credentials and rebranded the joint offering as Seven Letter. In 2019, Seven Letter launched Seven Letter Labs, expanding and enhancing its digital strategy services. The firm’s 2020 merger with the communications practice of Boston-based O’Neill and Associates expanded the firm’s geographic footprint, its team and reach.
Sitrick and Company
Los Angeles: 310/788-2850
New York: 212/573-6100
San Francisco: 415/999-9634
Washington, D.C.: 443/977-7215
Michael S. Sitrick, Chairman and CEO
Less important than what you say about yourself is what others say about you.
• The New York Times: “The City’s Most Prominent Crisis-Management Firm.”
• Forbes: “The crew from the television magazine is banging on your door. You can have the security guard throw them out and know they’ll trash you. Or you can sit down with them and figure that out of the hour you give them, they’ll use only 40 seconds on air. And those 40 seconds will make you look very guilty. Better solution, call Mike Sitrick.”
• BusinessWeek: That’s unbelievable. This is the heavy artillery.” Quote is from the CEO of one of the largest PR firms in the world, after learning we were brought in on the other side of a contentious matter in which his firm was involved.
Since our firm’s founding 31 years ago, we have been consistently ranked among the top crisis and strategic communications firm in the nation.
The majority of the firm’s senior executives are former editors and reporters from news organizations that include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, CBS News and NBC News. We also have former practicing attorneys and business executives.
Matters with which we have been involved include litigation support of all kinds; intellectual property matters, allegations of stock manipulation, wrongful termination, contract disputes, allegations of fraud and fraudulent inducement, wrongful death claims, allegations of illegal drug use, SEC matters, and a variety of other white-collar crimes. We have also handled criminal and civil cases against companies and their executives for such things as price fixing, insurance fraud, options backdating, antitrust violations, race and sex discrimination, sexual harassment, racism and #MeToo matters. We have a significant data breach, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance practice and have done extensive work combatting short sellers. Other issues include sensitive environmental matters, racketeering cases, family disputes, and high-profile divorces, reputation management and reputational positioning. We have also been involved in helping to launch such firms as Oaktree Capital.
Offices are in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., though we have handled cases all over the world.
For additional information including clients for whom our work was public and additional media comments about our firm see: www.sitrick.com.
Sloane & Company
7 Times Square, 17th flr.
New York, NY 10036
Darren Brandt, Whit Clay, Co-CEOs
Sloane & Company is an industry-leading strategic communications firm that provides a range of crisis-focused services around situations including: shareholder activism; litigation; unforeseen management changes; Board issues; employee issues; cybersecurity; natural disasters; product integrity; regulatory and legislative issues; bankruptcies / restructurings; environmental issues; and corporate governance. More broadly, we provide strategic counsel and support around corporate and financial public relations; transactions; strategic insights; messaging, analytics and measurement; public affairs; and investor relations—to public and private companies as well as investors, associations and individuals.
We are experts at assisting clients when unforeseen events threaten to impact their business or damage their reputation. We are known for our intelligence, intensity, creativity and focus on getting results. Whether the situation calls for developing and delivering the right messages to the audiences that matter or advising on high-stakes deals or crises, our goal is the same —to drive winning outcomes for our clients.
We have become a go-to firm when these crises and special situations occur by listening to our clients, understanding the situation, determining the risks to their business and delivering candid advice to management teams, boards, executives and organizations when they need it most. Clients have the benefit of working with senior executives with decades of experience who offer professional counsel in all phases of crisis planning and response, leading to immediate results.
Beyond specific crisis situations, we develop effective and actionable contingency plans in close coordination with a client’s legal, financial, marketing, communications and government relations/lobbying advisors. Our approach provides best-practices and enhances client procedures and appropriate training of personnel before and during a crisis. When the unexpected happens, we actively manage and support implementing the appropriate communications tactics. After the crisis subsides, we help clients restore their credibility and reputation in the marketplace.
Solomon McCown & Cence
Daniel F. Cence, CEO & Managing Partner
Solomon McCown & Cence (Boston & New York) supports clients that face complex, mission-critical issues at the intersection of public policy and business. The firm works within education, healthcare and real estate sectors, and with corporations and non-profit organizations to deliver integrated communications strategies that include: messaging, media relations & training, government relations, digital and social campaigns, and creative content.
Crisis planning and management is a defining strength of our organization. Our nationally-recognized team of crisis managers comes from journalism and politics. We develop crisis plans for corporations, institutions, and mission-focused organizations, and help organizations navigate sensitive issues including data breaches, public health issues, labor negotiations and strikes, bankruptcies and business failures, accusations of sexual harassment and abuse, Title IX complaints, regulatory investigations, workplace violence and natural disasters. We excel at working with both in-house and outside legal and communications teams to devise strategies that dovetail with the legal strategy.
880 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10022
Alex Stanton, CEO
Tom Faust, Charlyn Lusk, Managing Directors
Katrin Lieberwirth, Liam Collopy, Michael Goodwin, Matthew Conroy, SVPs
Stanton provides a full range of senior-level counsel to protect corporate reputations before, during and after a crisis hits, when critical issues arise, and through major transitions. Our expertise helps clients prevent crises through thoughtful planning and oversight. In the event a crisis does occur, we help contain the situation by managing media coverage and executing proactive communications to offset reputational damage and repair relationships with key constituents.
Stanton works with senior leadership teams, corporate task forces, outside counsel and other advisors to develop comprehensive communications strategies that ensure our clients are fully prepared. We apply our decades of experience to create the right strategy and put the right support behind it to control the narrative from the start and stay focused on your priorities. Our experience spans a variety of situations including corporate litigation, executive changes, consumer and special interest boycotts, workplace violence, employee misconduct, financial improprieties, environmental issues, product tampering and many others. Stanton’s efforts help clients minimize negative attention and prevent escalation of vulnerabilities during crisis situations. That’s why you’ve never heard of some of our best crisis work.
Clients: 3i, Albright Capital Management, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, AM Best, Bain Capital, Brevet Capital, Carl Marks Advisors, CityMD, Conning Asset Management, CSAA, CVC Capital Partners, DealCloud, Dosis, EIS, First Eagle Alternative Credit, FFL Partners, Great Hill Partners, HGGC, Hudl, Intapp, Kline Hill Partners, Lincolnshire Management, Makena Capital, Marin Health, Merchants Fleet, Mercy College, Mobilitas, Mosser, One Equity Partners, Pine Brook, SaverLife, Summit Medical Group, Sun Capital Partners, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, T1D Fund, Toorak Capital Partners, Vertical Bridge, VSS and Winston & Strawn.