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.

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Could you land this? A fellow communications practitioner once said to me, “I may be the PR guy, not the CEO, but in an emergency I could land the plane.” What did he mean by that? He meant that he understood enough about how his company worked — […]

The Four Cs of Writing

If you have ever bought or received a diamond engagement ring, you have undoubtedly learned about the Four Cs. These are the four factors that determine the value of a gem. For the uninitiated and/or the unlucky, here are the Four Cs: Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat. And just because I’ve never […]

Arrivederci, AVE!

Right up front, let me say that Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) is an intellectually bankrupt concept and a desecration of all that is good and right in the world. Wow! It felt good to say that out loud. AVE is a purported measurement tool that attempts to assign […]

Hey Brother, Can You Paradigm?

The fun (or should I say unsettling) thing about paradigm shifts is that it’s hard to tell when they’re happening. But I spotted one recently, and it kind of rocked my world.  If your company recruits recent college graduates, chances are your new employees barely think about email […]

The Sixty Minute Challenge

Just how much can you get done in sixty minutes? If your organization became the center of a crisis, in sixty minutes could you: Get Management and Legal to approve a statement and post it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the corporate website? Shoot and upload a video […]