Chris Nelson leads FleishmanHillard’s crisis management team in the Americas helping corporate executive teams anticipate, prepare for, and manage crisis situations, high-profile litigation, and contentious public issues.
Nelson has counseled clients in a range of industries through data breaches, product contaminations and recalls, chemical spills, workplace violence, crises in investor confidence, corporate espionage situations, litigation, labor issues, and activist attacks. During the financial crisis, he advised the chief executive officer of one of the first nine banks to receive TARP funds on ways to avoid the criticism so many banks faced. He has also prepared crisis management plans for clients and provided executive-level crisis management training.
In 1998, Nelson helped Ketchum start and build its issues and crisis management specialty. From 2006 to 2010, Nelson served as director, North American issues and crisis management, overseeing Ketchum’s crisis preparedness, issues management, crisis response, and litigation communications capabilities across North America.
Before Ketchum, Nelson worked at Burson-Marsteller New York, providing crisis management, issues management, and public policy advice to clients such as Philip Morris and Kraft, Wyeth, Sears, Pfizer, Mead Johnson, and Colgate-Palmolive. Before moving to New York, he worked in the communications and public affairs department of The Ohio State University Medical Center and in the public relations department at Ashland Chemical.
Nelson has contributed to industry and professional publications and regularly speaks at industry conferences. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Public Affairs Council and has presented on issues management and crisis management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland Graduate School of Journalism, and Ohio Northern University. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a cognate in economics from The Ohio State University.
Nelson teaches Crisis Communications.