Manage Crisis Communication in a Climate of Chaos | Search Results are the First Casualty and Your First Challenge


Free Virtual Executive Roundtable

On Demand Video



CRISIS. The word strikes fear in the hearts of executives and board rooms. It seems there’s a crisis every day in 2022 and the current seismic events are not one-day wonders, but rolling, long-term landscape changes. An active volcano comes to mind.

Crisis plans – and actions – must be dynamic and fluid as never before. At 5.6 billion searches per day, Google is the gateway to every brand, business and organization. The journey your audience takes to reach your website, social media channels or news release, almost always begins with a search. Your strategy must encompass all media, yet too often, the most powerful and trusted source of news and information is overlooked. If you think you can’t influence Google, you’re wrong – and you can do it yourself.

While news coverage, social media sentiment and Twitter trends all remain critical for professional communicators to monitor and potentially modulate, search results top them all for immediate impact.

Professional communicators must cover all bases: news coverage, social media activity – and search results. Every conduit with the public and stakeholders is dynamic on a minute-by-minute, even second-by-second basis. Constant analysis of your search results must be a part of your crisis plan.


Jesse Jacobs

Chief Technology Officer, Lightbox Search

Jesse Jacobs serves as Chief Technology Officer of Lightbox Search where he drives product development. Jesse works closely with both the technical team and clients to ensure Lightbox meets evolving objectives.

During his decade with Lumentus, he has led cross-platform content creation as a creative strategist with expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), digital reputation management and brand building.

Jesse is passionate about technology and design and holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts and Entertainment and Strategic Communications from Elon University.


Brandi Boatner

Manager, Digital & Advocacy Communications, IBM 

Brandi Boatner is an award-winning digital communication, public relations, social media professional and prolific public speaker based in New York City. Currently, she is a member of IBM’s social media and content experience team supporting influencer and advocacy efforts across social platforms (includes enablement and activation) both internally and externally for corporate marketing.  Prior to this role, Brandi was on the internal corporate communications team supporting key initiatives for the Transformation and Culture function, including social media support for the SVP of Transformation and Culture and digital engagement for diversity and inclusion channels while also leading initiatives that drove employee advocacy through social activation. 

Brandi is a true advocate for diversity and inclusion serving as a member of IBM’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and also serves as the former chair and current chair of external partnerships for IBM Black Network of New York business resource group. Given her efforts around diversity in the public relations industry, she is one of more than 40 PR leaders featured in the book Diverse Voices: Lessons in Leadership published by the Public Relations Society of America Foundation.  

Boatner is very active in the public relations industry where she holds several leadership positions within PRSA on both the local and national level. She is the Chair of the PRSA Tri-State district, immediate past chair of PRSA Technology Section Chair, and a member of the Executive Committee for the PRSA Westchester/Fairfield chapter. Additionally, she is on the Board of Directors for New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) serving as VP of Student Programming, a member of the University of South Carolina’ Dean’s Leadership Council, and a member of the Advisory Board of Poster House, the first ever museum in the US dedicated exclusively to posters based in New York City. 

She speaks all around the US and the world on a variety of industry and marketplace topics. She enjoys reading, music, traveling, shoe shopping, exploring Manhattan with friends and spending time with family in her hometown of New Orleans.

Dave Fleet

Global Head of Digital Crisis, Edelman

Dave has been advising senior clients on reputation management and digital communications for almost two decades. As Head of Global Digital Crisis, Dave is responsible for ensuring the seamless integration of digital, data and intelligence in Edelman’s global crisis offering.

Since joining Edelman in 2010, Dave has played senior roles on clients across a wide variety of clients across different sectors. Prior to this role, Dave led Edelman’s Canadian Digital practice for five years, overseeing a team spanning Edelman’s five Canadian offices. He also oversaw the growth of the Canadian Insights and Analytics, Paid Media, Project Management, and Influencer Marketing teams. Dave’s team won a slew of awards at shows including Cannes Lions, CLIOs, CPRS, IABC and Canadian Marketing Awards.

Dave led Edelman Canada’s integrated crisis response team in for a Fortune 50 manufacturer during a global crisis, spending almost two years as part of the client’s executive board overseeing the crisis response and working directly with the C-suite.

Dave sits on the Program Advisory Committee for post-graduate marketing courses at Seneca College. He is also a mentor for the BANFF Spark Marketing Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media.

Dave graduated from the University of Bath with an honours degree in business administration.


Eliot Hoff

Executive Director, Global Crisis Management, APCO Worldwide

Eliot Hoff, executive director, is a recognized expert in crisis management and preparedness. He works with his clients on their most challenging issues and has experience in all industries. Mr. Hoff 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 joining APCO, Mr. Hoff 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, a boutique technology public relations agency, where he helped to expand the agency’s offerings to include crisis and litigation communication, corporate reputation and financial communication. At Connors, he launched several companies in the technology sector, including Vonage and Schema Ltd. Mr. Hoff went to Connors from Hill and Knowlton, where he was part of the litigation group of the corporate practice.

Mr. Hoff 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.

Mr. Hoff holds a law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University.


Richard LevickRichard S. Levick, Esq.

Chairman & CEO, LEVICK 

Richard Levick, Esq. is Chairman & CEO of LEVICK, representing countries and companies in the highest-stakes global communications matters – the Venezuelan crisis; Qatar; the Chinese trade war; the Gulf oil spill; Guantanamo Bay, the Catholic Church and many others.

He and his firm have represented more than 300 of the world’s largest law firms, hundreds of companies and over 30 countries, providing heads of state with intelligence, access and insight into Washington. Mr. Levick and his team provide the communications “air cover” for CEOs, boards, lawyers and lobbyists to maximize efficiency, solve conflicts and re-emerge stronger and better positioned.

Mr. Levick has been honored multiple times on the prestigious list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the Boardroom” and has been named to multiple professional Halls of Fame for lifetime achievement. He is the co-author of four books and is a regular commentator on television and in print. Mr. Levick provides keynote speeches all over the world and has lectured at Harvard, Stanford, West Point, the U.S. Army War College and Georgetown Law, among many others. He is the former Director of the American University School of Public Affairs Leadership Program and teaches at Fordham Law School.

Richard hosts multiple podcasts, including programs for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal; In House Community for Asia-MENA counsel; Foreign Lobby Report; Clark Atlanta University (an HBCU); and From Garage to Global for emerging tech companies. He sits on the board of TRACKtech, an emerging company; Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute; The Snider Center at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland; the University of Georgia Crisis Communication Coalition and is an Executive Affiliate of the Wake Forest Center for the Study of Capitalism.


Ann Walker MarchantAnn Walker Marchant

CEO, The Walker Marchant Group

Ann is CEO of the Walker Marchant Group (WMG), a strategic public relations and public affairs firm specializing in corporate communications, crisis communications, media relations and global issues management. An experienced strategist, Ann has created campaigns that influence public opinion, impact public policy and change outcomes, mindsets and actions. Known for her skills in crisis management and stakeholder activation, she directs a team of experts and specialists experienced in politics, government affairs, corporate affairs and media. Ann has helped political candidates, global corporations and organizations align business goals, messaging and value propositions to promote greater awareness, engagement, activation and mobilization.

Formerly, Ann worked for President Clinton in the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Communications Research and Special Projects.

She is a trustee for The George Washington University, a board member for the National Endowment for the Humanities Trust, co-chair of Knock Out Abuse and serves on the editorial committee for the Women’s Forum for the Global Economy & Society and the CEO Global Champions Roundtable.

Ann is mother to one daughter and one golden doodle. She lives in Washington, DC but mostly on airplanes.


Dan Simon

CEO, Vested

Dan is a writer and senior communications specialist with 20 years’ experience in PR, Marketing & Advertising. Dan has led campaigns for some of the biggest global brands, including Bloomberg LP, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Dan is a regular columnist for Forbes, Markets Media and CoinTelegraph and he co-chairs the Museum of American Finance Communications Advisory Board. His book, The Money Hacker (HarperCollins 2020) was named best Small Business Book by the Axiom Awards.



Carreen Winters

EVP, Corporate Reputation & Chief Strategy Officer, MikeWorldWide (MWW)

Carreen leads MikeWorldWide’s reputation practice, covering all aspects of corporate reputation including executive positioning, employee engagement, DEI, CSR and citizenship, crisis and issues management and labor relations. Beginning her career with MWW almost 30 years ago, Carreen has been responsible for some of the agency’s most recognized work.  An integrated and creative thinker, Carreen led the development of the firm’s proprietary CorpSumer approach to integrated public relations. She is a noted blogger, author and speaker on topics related to reputation, and appears regularly in the national news media. Carreen’s work has been recognized by every major award in the industry, including being named to the inaugural class of PR News’ Top Women in PR, and most recently Ragan’s Top Women in Communications class of 2022.