Author Archives

Chris Atkins

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, 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 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 “An Honest Day’s Work,” to be published in the fall of 2014. He lives with his wife, Lauren Letellier, in Manhattan and Hillsdale, NY.

Fake News!

We hear a lot about “fake news” these days, almost as if it is something new. But fake news has a long and glorious (sometimes hilarious) history in the United States. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I doubt we are alone. One example […]

A True PR Fumble

You’ve probably never heard of Robert Morin, unless you live in New Hampshire. And maybe not even then. But Mr. Morin quite innocently sowed the seeds of a particularly egregious moment in PR history. Morin was born in Nashua, NH in 1938 to French-Canadian parents who toiled in […]

What Are We Really Measuring Here?

    This spring, I am teaching “Fundamentals of the Theory and Practice of Public Relations” to 32 students at Marist College. I recently invited Michael O’Brien of Ketchum to speak to the class about planning. Michael spoke eloquently on the subject, but I have to admit that […]

Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

On the anniversary of the 1987 market crash, I have a message:  An economic downturn is coming.  And it’s overdue. Anyone who has worked through a recession (and in my career, I went through four) knows how devastating its effects are.  Business starts to dry up.  Clients disappear.  […]