NEW YORK—Burson-Marsteller has named Karen Doyne, a litigation communications expert and current senior vice president and senior crisis counselor at Ketchum, as managing director for crisis communications in the firm’s U.S. corporate and financial practice. She will lead B-M’s U.S. crisis group, which is respondible crisis preparedness, issues management and litigation public relations.
“Corporations are faced with issues that have become more and more complex, requiring counsel that is based on deep experience and a sensitivity to a large group of stakeholders,” says Judi Mackey, chair of Burson’s U.S. corporate and financial practice. “Burson-Marsteller offers an integrated approach to crisis work, utilizing teams and experts across our network. Karen is the ideal person to lead that effort as well as to serve our clients in both their crisis and litigation needs.”
During her nine years at Ketchum, Doyne counseled clients involved in a number of high-profile controversies, including Bridgestone/Firestone’s tire recall, Dow Chemical’s involvement in the silicone breast implant controversy, and Wyeth pharmaceuticals during the fen-phen crisis. Other clients have included organizations as diverse as IBM, Visa U.S.A. and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; and issues as varied as groundwater contamination, race discrimination claims and criminal investigations.
“It’s no wonder corporate executives consistently name crisis prevention and management among their most crucial communications needs,” Doyne says. “Technology has super-charged the path from problem to crisis, making it harder than ever to respond effectively. Add to that the intense scrutiny of corporate governance and ethics issues, and you’ve got enough exposure to keep any CEO up at night.”
In February of this year, Burson lost one of its most respected crisis counselors when veteran Al Tortorella left the head the corporate practice at WPP sister company Ogilvy.