FIR guest host Brad Whitworth moderated a panel discussion with four IABC Fellows: Alice Brink, John Deveney, Jim Lukaszewski, and Brenda Siler. who explored the role of a free press in supporting a free economy: How communicators can support their business’s efforts to support a free press and the value a free press brings to organizations (such as providing transparency and delivering information on which companies can reliably base decisions). Other topics related to media relations are also on the agenda, including why companies should respond when news organizations come calling, the important role of earned media, and whether press releases still matter.
About the panel
Alice Brink is an internationally recognized communications consultant. Her firm, A Brink & Co., works with businesses and non-profits to clarify their messages and communicate them in ways that change people’s minds. Her clients have included Shell Oil Company, Sysco Foods, and Noble Energy. Prior to launching A Brink & Co. in Houston in 2004, Alice honed her craft both in corporate settings (including The Coca-Cola Company, Conoco, and First Interstate Bank) and in one of Texas’ largest public relations firms, where she led the agency’s energy and financial practices. Alice has been active in IABC for more than 30 years, including serving as chapter president, district director, and Gold Quill chair. She is the vice chair of the IABC Academy.
In 1996, while on the fast track to a partnership in a growing PR agency, John Deveney opted to strike out on his own and form Deveney, a process and a practice that embraces the soundest principles, the newest media, and the most innovative technologies. Based in New Orleans, Deveney is particularly strong in the areas of crisis, healthcare, tourism, and hospitality. (After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, John led the only on-site communication operation and media center for both the City of New Orleans and the Louisiana Office of Tourism.)
James E. Lukaszewski, America’s Crisis Guru ®, is a bestselling author, national speaker, and trusted strategic advisor to FPO and NPO business operators and leaders during crises, disasters, reputation attacks, contentiousness and when the boss’s future is at stake. Corporate Legal Times listed him as “one of 22 crisis counselors to have in your speed dial when all hell breaks loose.” For more than 30 years, he has confidentially guided hundreds of company leaders thru tough, touchy, sensitive situations. Lukaszewski’s strategies inspire constructive, ethical problem resolving management behavior. A powerful and inspirational speaker, he teaches executives and managers the lessons he has learned. A prolific author, he is quoted and interviewed often as one of the most recognizable leaders in his profession. Lukaszewski is on the web at www.e911.com.
Brenda C. Siler, a public relations, marketing, and branding professional. She currently manages a consultancy offering short-term public relations, communications, and writing solutions for a variety of clients. Siler has lead communications teams at national associations and nonprofits including AARP, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and UNCF, the United Negro College Fund. At UNCF, she managed the rebranding of this scholarship fund retaining its iconic tagline “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” At the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, she managed a national public awareness campaign featuring actor James Earl Jones. From 1998-99, Siler was Executive Board Chairwoman for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), She is on the Board of Advisors for PRNews. Siler is a graduate of Spelman College.