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.

The Twelfth Commandment

Forty-eight years ago, “60 Minutes” debuted on CBS. And 12 years later, I started my career in PR, already wondering why corporate executives ever volunteered to be on the program. That wonderment persists to this day. During my career both in the agency and corporate spheres, there were […]

I’m Shocked…Shocked!

  On November 23, 2015, Pfizer Inc. issued a press release announcing its intent to merge with Allergan. The press release began with a listing of all of the benefits that the merger would bring. Here’s the entire list. • Creates a new global biopharmaceutical leader with best-in-class […]

Where the Hell Was the Sugar Lobby?

Yesterday was a red-letter day for the American people. First, the FDA released its quinquennial update of its dietary guidelines and, not surprisingly, they came down pretty heavily on sugar. According to the Feds, the average American oops down 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. That number, by the […]

I’ve Got Your Number

I started writing about why this Facebook graphic made me a little nuts, but after three paragraphs, it all started to sound like, “GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU NO GOOD KIDS!” So I hit “delete.” But contemplating the way arithmetic is taught today made me recall how it […]

What’s In A Name?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the venerable McGraw-Hill Companies, which owns my former employer Standard & Poor’s, is decamping from its longtime home on 49th St. to the S&P building at 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan. In the process, the company will jettison the McGraw-Hill […]