Next week will bring the 26th anniversary of the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill. The details of the spill are well known and have been extensively reported. In short, on March 24, 1989 at about midnight, the Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound […]
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.
I used to feel flattered when someone asked for my opinion about something. It suggested that because of my perspicacity, there was some importance attached to my view. But all that has changed. Lately, even the most insignificant interaction with a company results in a request for my […]
Nothing ruins a war story like a witness. When you claim that you were somewhere you weren’t, that’s usually called a lie. When you claim that something happened to you that didn’t, that’s a lie, right? Most of the time, when you claim that you saw things that […]
Have you heard about Ben Edelman? His story is rocketing around the internet. He’s a Harvard Business School professor and lawyer who feels he was cheated by a small Chinese restaurant (seen above in a Boston.com photo) in the Boston area, and decided to bring the wrath of […]
I guess I’m channeling Yogi Berra again. It happens, especially when I read the news. For the past week or so, there has been a lot of media speculation that toymaker Hasbro was interested in buying movie studio DreamWorks Animation. The appeal for Hasbro would be exclusive rights […]
“Doesn’t it seem like somebody is working awfully hard to convince us of how imperfect we are? If we could be more emotionally resilient or get up at 5:00 a.m. every morning or remember to do that one thing that successful people never forget to do, would our […]
An excerpt from “An Honest Day’s Work,” my new book, which will be published in the fall of 2014. One of my favorite Burson-Marsteller clients was Lloyd’s of London. Lloyd’s was renowned for its willingness to take on all kinds of outsized risks – major catastrophes, environmental disasters, […]
Mark Twain famously said, “There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies and statistics.” I know exactly what he meant. My first job in PR was working for a sole practitioner. His main source of income was an engagement with Grumman Boats and Canoes. Legions of one-time […]
Some years ago, when I was working for a major PR agency, my buddy stuck his head in my office doorway. “Listen,” he said. “I know we were supposed to go to lunch today, but we got a call about a huge new business opportunity. The prospect wants […]