PR's Moment to Shine: How Communicators Responded in "The Year to Remember"

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What You’ll Learn:: 
Consider this fast-paced panel moderated by APCO Worldwide's Eliot Hoff your chance to exorcise the worst of 2020—and extract best practices. You'll hear what communicators at top consumer brands learned from "The Year to Remember"—from handling the press and WFH employees amid crisis to leveling up your crisis response to rally teams and business in 2021.
You'll discover:
  • How PR pros managed media relations amid Covid and social justice issues
  • Surprising channels that kept teams and stakeholders aligned
  • The convergence of value/purpose and crisis response—how  an organization's
  • purpose is core to coming back stronger and making decisions in an authentic way
  • What crisis recovery means to team structure during an ongoing crisis like the  pandemic
  • What these brands are forecasting—and how they're drafting recovery messaging now
December 2020

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Presenter bio: 

Eliot Hoff is the Executive Director and Global Crisis Practice lead at APCO Worldwide. He's a recognized expert in crisis management and preparedness. He works with his clients on their most challenging issues and has experience in all industries. He has specific expertise in product recalls and has managed some of the largest and most complex recalls in the food and consumer products sector. Prior to APCO, he was a vice president in Ruder Finn’s corporate reputation practice, also focusing on crisis management. Before Ruder Finn, he was the director of Connors Communications. While there, he launched several companies in the technology sector, including Vonage and Schema Ltd. He went to Connors from Hill and Knowlton, where he was part of the litigation group of the corporate practice. He is an attorney who began his career as associate director at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where he implemented and expanded media relations and grassroots community outreach program in the New York region and served as spokesperson in the national and local media.

Amanda Minto is the director of HR communications for Technology, Product, Xperience at Comcast. As HR and employee comms professional, she uses her knowledge of employee behavior to drive communications that educate and engage teammates. She believes that transparency is best and has extensive experience with crisis and issues management dealing with reductions in force and reorgs, site closures/moves, product sunsets, employee accidents, and facility incident preparedness. In her current role, she supports ongoing employee communications in response to COVID-19, including preparing for teammates to return to offices. She has more than 15 years of HR and employee communications experience and specializes in content creation, crisis and issues management, and employee engagement.

Phil Caruso is a senior manager of issues management for Walgreens. In this role, he serves as a spokesperson among top tier business and general media on a wide scope of issues and proactive opportunities. He's an experienced communications practitioner skilled at advancing and protecting reputations through rapid response, issues management, crisis communications and public affairs advocacy across retail, health care and commercial trucking sectors.

Christian Bove is a lead communications director at USAA in San Antonio, TX working on the media and public relations team. He began his career at USAA helping to build its crisis communications and issues management program. Prior to USAA, he served nearly four years as the public information officer and public relations manager for the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD), where he was responsible for managing crisis communications response, media relations and social media for the department. Before that, he worked in radio as a news director, anchor and reporter.

Jenna Reck is a Senior Communications Director at Target, leading Reputation Communications for the retailer. She oversees Target's crisis communication in partnership with teams across company and is a key member of Target's core Reputation and Risk cross-functional team. She also leads the communication strategy for several parts of Target's business, including HR, Diversity and Inclusion and External Engagement, working closely with c-suite executives to develop communications strategies in service of their business priorities and to drive Target's reputation. She also drives the communication strategy for Target's Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee, which formed this summer to advance the retailer's efforts for its Black team members and guests. As a member of the Communications leadership team at Target, she co-leads the Communications Diversity Action Committee, focused on the representation and experience of diverse team members within the team. Reck has a BA from Hamline University and an MBA from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.

Jesse Lewin is the director of field brand reputation at McDonald's, where he leads its U.S. grassroots communications team. He's a senior communications leader specializing in grassroots and national efforts for political campaigns, the White House and Fortune 10 companies. Before McDonald's, he worked in the health care practice at Burson-Marsteller, managed consumer media and stakeholder relationships on behalf of Ford Motor Co., and worked in the White House office of communications and the White House press office.