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 […]
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.
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 […]
Anyone who has spent a few years in a PR agency can tell you about the client that never should have been. It’s an experience that scars you for life and has caused many a green pea to decamp for business school. When revenue growth slows, and especially […]
If you started your first job in 2013, you have never known life without PowerPoint, the ubiquitous presentation software developed by Apple and later sold to Microsoft. Powerpoint can be an effective supplement to a discussion, but we have all experienced the microtype, over-stuffed slides that gave rise […]
Thanksgiving always reminds me of my second PR agency job. My employer’s office was on Broadway, and the agency had a very cool tradition of hosting a breakfast for clients and staff on Thanksgiving morning. Our fifth floor offices afforded an outstanding view of the Macy’s parade, whose […]
You hear the term “Big Data” a lot these days. It seems to be the answer to almost any question that arises. • How can we predict what our customers will want to buy in six months? • How can I predict the next financial downturn? • Where […]
It doesn’t do to take yourself too seriously in the PR game, although lots of people do. Attend almost any convocation of PR folks and you will hear about the great strides the profession is about to make in being taken more seriously as a management function. The […]
The advent of social media has given rise to a plethora of acronyms that simplify the process of typing on a tiny keyboard. But every now and then I find myself having to Google an acronym because it is just not clear to me. LOL? I get that. […]
As I wrote this post over the Fourth of July holiday, it seemed fitting to recall the words of one of our nation’s Founding Fathers: “It is natural for man to indulge in illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth. For […]
This morning’s edition of PR Week – which, ironically, is a daily — brought the news that GE has launched the GE Artistry Series — a line of kitchen appliances designed to appeal to Millennials. How, I wondered, would one design a stove to make it more appealing […]