ATLANTA—J.R. Hipple, a 20-year veteran of the public relations business and one of the founders of Richmond-based Carter Ryley Thomas, has launched Hipple&Co. Reputation Management.
The new firm will help organizations “improve business results by identifying and managing the key drivers of their reputation,” says Hipple, who will serve as a communications strategist, problem solver and counselor to CEOs, and to corporate communications and human resource executives. Hipple&Co. clients include Convergys, Denali Flavors (makers of Moose Tracks Ice Cream), and Richmond International Airport.
During his career, Hipple has created communications campaigns for some of America’s leading organizations, including Corning, ITT Industries, Nextel, Wyeth, The University of Virginia, Bon Secours Health System and CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association).
“I’ve been talking about the idea of reputation management for more than 20 years,” says Hipple. “As an idealistic graduate student, the topic I initially chose for my thesis was on how corporations could use basic goodness—in all things they did—to outperform their competitors. There was only one problem: there was no data, and no one would talk about it if they were doing it.
“One of the most important things I’ve learned over 20 years as a consultant is how valuable public relations can be when it is fully-integrated with business plans. I’ve also seen what a waste it can be to use PR in a superficial way without any meaningful involvement from senior leadership.”