Posts by Kathy Cripps

Kathy Cripps

As President of the Council of Public Relations Firms, the trade association that represents the interests of public relations firms operating in the U.S., Kathy's primary role is to advocate on behalf of member firms, the professional and the profession. Kathy brings to the Council a comprehensive understanding of the needs of public relation firms. Before joining the Council, she was responsible for growing the U.S. healthcare business for a multinational PR firm, and earlier founded a healthcare-focused public relations firm. Kathy also holds an MBA in marketing.


Read and Think Like Leaders

Here’s a challenge for you: What are the top three most intriguing new management or leadership ideas you’ve come across in the past month? How about this: What top three macro-economic, social, cultural, or geo-political trends will be affecting your business over the next three to five years? It’s not always easy to stay attuned…

The Mentors Who Move Us

This piece is dedicated to my late friend and mentor Tom Mackay who taught me a great deal about the business side of running a PR firm.   Before Hilary McKean left for college, she had already learned some valuable lessons. A partner and managing director at Ketchum, McKean recalls that her father built up a…

Disruption—The Great Summer Debate

Is Clayton Christensen a genius or a scofflaw? That, in exaggerated terms, is the question posed in the course of one of this summer’s most interesting, relevant, and entertaining intellectual dust-ups. Christensen, as many know, is the esteemed author of The Innovator’s Dilemma and other books propounding and refining the theory of disruption. Jill Lepore, a…

Cannes—If You’re Not There Yet, You Need to Be

Last week, I attended the 61st annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France. My goal was to understand why Cannes has become one of the world’s biggest, most widely discussed marketing creativity events. As I discovered, for the PR industry it ultimately isn’t the celebrity speakers, the venue, or even the food…

A Higher Purpose—Bridging the Gap between Public Relations and The Wikipedia Community

As we’ve discussed many times in the Firm Voice, public relations professionals today are grappling with an existential issue: How do we position our industry in the face of the seismic changes affecting the communications marketplace? We at the Council are confronting a similar but equally urgent issue: How do we re-imagine our organization’s own…

Deep Reflections—PR Lessons in Today’s Commencement Speeches

Spring has arrived, and across the country college students are proudly holding up those diplomas they had worked so hard to achieve. Stadiums, auditoriums, and arts quads across the country are also resounding with words of wisdom offered by all manner of commencement speaker. Our own past Chairman, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky, recently gave…

Brand building in a Chaotic World—A Marketing Ideas Guy Weighs In

In our personal lives, it’s obvious: The most interesting people are those with a strong, clear, consistent sense of self. But it’s true of brands as well. Or so asserts branding and creativity expert Will Burns, Forbes contributor and founder of the ideas consultancy Ideasicle. The question thus emerges: How well do your clients’ brands…

Consumer Insight: the Key to Creativity

In 2009, Coyne PR was charged with helping the toy maker Hasbro ignite interest and sales for the 60th anniversary of its iconic board game, Candy Land. The team had been brainstorming for days, but they just couldn’t fix on the right idea. The breakthrough came when a group of five- to twelve-year-olds happened to be…

Take Back the Power: How Attending to the Nuances of the Client Relationship Can Really Help

Are client negotiations stressing you out? Negotiations were tough when I was running my own firm, and they’re even tougher today. Facing relentless competition and procurement officers straining to cut costs, PR firms often believe they lack the leverage necessary to structure client relationships in a sustainable way. That might not always be the case….

Embracing Change, Respecting Tradition: Reflections on Downton Abbey

In our technology-driven society, should we embrace novelty full bore and throw tradition out the window or should we slow down and take a more thoughtful approach? Last week, we addressed this question indirectly through the lens of the new E! television show #RichKids of Beverly Hills. In its title and production values, the show…

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