Chris Atkins is an author, speaker and communications consultant with 35 years of PR agency and in-house experience.
Chris was Managing Director for all internal and external communications for PricewaterhouseCoopers. With nearly nine billion in revenues and 30,000 employees, PwC (US) is the largest of the “Big Four” accounting firms. He joined PwC after five years at Standard & Poor’s, where he was responsible for all communications for credit ratings and indices such as the S&P 500. He was at the forefront of S&P’s crisis response regarding the role of credit ratings in the financial meltdown. Before joining S&P, he spent 26 years at several major public relations agencies. He was Managing Director of the Global Corporate Practices at Ogilvy Public Relations and Ketchum, counseling clients such as FedEx, the New York Stock Exchange and GE. While at Ketchum, Chris founded the Ketchum Reputation Lab, which used the 20+ year data set from Fortune Magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Corporations” survey to develop an analytical tool to inform communications strategy.
Chris also served as Chief Operating Officer of the New York office of Burson-Marsteller, and was a Vice President in the Corporate Group at Hill & Knowlton. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer at NYU and Columbia on the topic of crisis preparedness and response, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Masters in Corporate Communications program at Baruch College (CUNY). Chris was named by PR Week as one of the “20 crisis counselors CEOs should have in their speed-dialer.”
Chris is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, and a past trustee of the Institute for Public Relations. He is the co-author of a book on corporate reputation called Image Wars: Protecting Your Company When There’s No Place to Hide, (1989, John Wiley & Sons) and most recently the author of An Honest Day’s Work: True Tales of a Life in PR, (2014, Pill Hill Productions). He lives with his wife, Lauren Letellier, in Hillsdale, NY.
Enjoyed your recollection of les affaires Maxwell & Horton. Though not involved, you have rekindled my recollection of l’affaire Horton. As to Maxwell, you neglected to mention how fully he justified whatever slime B-M London fed the FT. Stealing the pensions of his newspaper workers. Then jumping overboard–quite literally–and with the mighty splash only such corpulence could produce–when the jig was up. Of course, it was the purloined pensions and other misappropriations and defalcations that had bought the yacht in the first place.
Thanks, Jon. Heady days, they were.
Chris: My friends and I just celebrated the 40th anniversary of our Marathon Canoe Trip across Canada, along the Route of the Voyaguers. I was able to secure two canoes for the trip from Grumman, with the help of Dwight Rockwell, in 1975-76. We did the trip in ’76. We sent a LOT of film to Rockwell & Newell, and are wondering if there’s a chance the negatives still exist? Regards, Dixon Dudderar, Harbor Springs, MI. (616) 915-0936
Hi. I am impressed that you were able to figure out that I worked for Dwight. How’d you do that?
Anyway, I moved on from Rockwell & Newell in 1982 and Dwight passed away in the mid-1990s. I have no idea how to contact his family but I doubt there is an archive. Manhattanites tend to be short on storage space. Sorry I can’t be helpful.