Alan has spent his career studying corporate reputation. He’s used this knowledge to help companies compete, prevent crisis and recover their reputations.
Alan started New York-based TowersGroup Inc., a public relations firm, in 1969. The agency attracted clients in financial and professional services, sectors in which reputation plays an essential role. For over three decades, Alan and his firm helped these companies turn reputation into competitive advantage, often using specialized tools developed at TowersGroup.
Alan found that traditional PR techniques and media relations could improve reputations but, alone, couldn’t sustain them. Corporate culture and business model determined the behavior that controlled reputation and crisis risk. Communications played its most valuable role after a reputation-aware culture was in place.
Alan has advised many notable companies facing reputation damage. When New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer leveled charges of trading abuses at the mutual fund industry, Alan represented the leading fund industry trade association. He also worked on reputation recovery with several major fund companies under investigation. Later, he was the first communications consultant independently retained by a mutual fund board of trustees to reduce reputation risk.
In 2006, Alan sold TowersGroup’s PR practice to Middleberg Communications, headed by PR Internet pioneer Don Middleberg. The sale allowed Alan to become an independent consultant in 2007 concentrating on reputation management and crisis prevention. Following the reputation decline of the US auto industry and its financial crisis of 2008 to 2009, Alan advised a major US auto manufacturer on reputation recovery.
Alan’s articles on reputation management, a phrase he coined twenty years ago, have appeared in The New York Times, Directors and Boards, BusinessWeek, and publications of the National Association of Corporate Directors and The Conference Board. He has appeared on CNBC and spoken at The Conference Board, the Financial Communications Society and New York University. He’s a graduate of Boston University.