Posts: James Donnelly

James Donnelly Author

James Donnelly is senior vice president, crisis management with broad experience in issues/crisis management, crisis training, communications training, corporate public relations, and global corporate communications. He is also the main steward of the agency’s North American Issues & Crisis Management Network – a group of 40+ counselors.

As a senior member of Ketchum’s Issue and Crisis Management Specialty Team, James leads programs that include: threat assessments, capability building, trainings, simulations, strategic counsel and response support. In addition, James leads programming of the Executive Crisis Management Academy, the most comprehensive training program ever offered on crisis management.

James is currently an advisory board member of the Center for Global Public Relations at UNC Charlotte, a university where he also guest lectures on crisis management. He can be followed at and through his blog:

When the Grid Goes Down: Major Utilities Must Begin Communications Preparedness

by James Donnelly and James Peters| March 30, 2017

Over the past month many news stories have appeared about the current power grid and its susceptibility to interruption by both attacks and natural causes. While the industry has been monitoring and dealing with weather-related outages for decades, only more recently have policy makers and regulators taken a more focused interest on the viability of […]

Superstorm Sandy: Approaches to Consider for Emergency and Citizenship Communications

by James Donnelly| October 31, 2012

Corporate communicators may be wondering how to support either emergency communications to employees/customers, or humanitarian efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Here’s a quick list of top approaches to consider:

Pros and Cons of 'Citizen Broadcasting' and How Companies Can Use Social Media to Protect Reputation

by James Donnelly| October 10, 2011

Several recent headlines have been apt reminders that social networks are designed to scoop the media in the initial stages of an emerging crisis. An interesting example is the September 2010 shooting at the Discovery Channel offices in Maryland. An article in The Washington Post highlighted the fact that Twitter broke the story and included […]

Tragedy in Japan: Addressing Natural Disasters

by James Donnelly| March 14, 2011

The situation in northeast Japan is grim and may soon get worse. At the time of this writing, the earthquake and resulting tsunami has led to early estimates between 900 and 1,800 dead. That does not include the nearly 9,500 people unaccounted for in the coastal town Minamisanriku. Japanese authorities are also presuming that two […]

Tips to Mitigate and Respond to Workplace Violence

by James Donnelly| August 4, 2010

When workplace violence hits your company or community, statistics do not matter. The community of Manchester, Connecticut, and employees of Hartford Distributors probably know that all too well after yesterday’s tragedy.  For the rest of us who follow these situations and wonder if lessons are evident, the statistics provide some context. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, […]