On May 6th, I joined the firm of Sitrick And Company as a Member of the Firm (e.g. “partner”) and the first Head of its new Boston office at One Post Office Square. I’m going to build a global tech practice for the firm as well as advise its clients in New England and the Boston area.
Mike Sitrick, the founder of the firm, has been the leading crisis communications specialist in the country for more than 30 years and advises a blue ribbon of corporate and celebrity clients out of the firm’s headquarters in Los Angeles. The firm also has offices in San Francisco, Denver, Washington, DC and New York City.
Sitrick is home to a roster of former national and local business reporters with the likes of Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bloomberg on their resumes. One of them, my former Forbes colleague Seth Lubove, recommended me as the guy to build up the firm’s tech practice. So thanks to Seth, here I am.
Crisis communications is a fascinating and often misunderstood specialty in the public relations world and Sitrick is the acknowledged black belt at it. In January his second book — The Fixer — was published by Regenery, and in it he lays out a simple ten rule framework for how to weather those adrenaline-filled moments of sheer panic hat come to every organization on occasion. Most telling is his contrarian approach to working with the media. Where many PR firms and internal PR teams take an adversarial stance in their relations with the press, Sitrick prides itself on working closely with the media to get its clients’ version of a controversy out there rather than hide behind the stonewall of “no comment.”
I can look back at several key points in my career when I felt the most energized and empowered, and nearly all of them were associated with some form of crisis or breaking news. Working a crime scene or fire as a cub reporter at the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune. Saving a colleague choking on a roast beef sub in the Tribune’s newsroom with a Heimlich. The Shattered Glass scoop my team at Forbes.com broke open in 1998.
Calming down pissed-off customers flooding the Better Business Bureau and social media with complaints over delayed computer shipments at Lenovo.
2017 was enlivened by some challenging crisis work at my former job – running PR at Acquia — and I quickly realized my attention and productivity both soar when things go wrong and hit the proverbial fan. So as I parted ways with Acquia, the one thing I wanted to do was more crisis work — either at my own agency (codenamed “Dumpsterfire”) or with an established one where I could learn.
The chance to work with and learn from Mike Sitrick sold me and so here I am.
A press release went out this morning. Here’s a link to it.
Sitrick And Company Opens Boston Office
David Churbuck, Founder and Editor of Forbes.com, former Chief Content Officer of McKinsey and VP of Digital Marketing for Lenovo, Named Head of Boston Office and Member of the Firm
LOS ANGELES, May 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Sitrick And Company, internationally recognized as one of the top strategic and crisis communications firms in the nation, today announced that it has opened a Boston office. The firm now has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Denver and Washington, DC.
Simultaneously, the firm announced it has named David Churbuck, founder and former Editor of Forbes.com and former Chief Content Officer of McKinsey & Company’s TomorrowLab, as Head of the Boston Office and a Member of the Firm.
Mr. Churbuck, an award-winning tech journalist and digital marketing communications executive, brings 20 years of journalism experience and 10 years of corporate experience to the position.
In addition to founding and serving as Editor in Chief of Forbes.com, Mr. Churbuck served as Senior Technology Editor and New England Bureau Chief at Forbes. While he led Forbes.com, the site exposed the New Republic scandal chronicled in the 2003 film Shattered Glass. While Senior Technology Editor at Forbes, the magazine won awards for his cover story about digital forgery, and his early coverage of the Internet.
Mr. Churbuck served as Vice-President of Global Digital Marketing at Lenovo from 2005 through 2010, where he won awards for Lenovo’s pioneering athlete blogging campaign – Voice of the Summer Games — during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He also served as a founding partner of Eastman Advisors, a digital strategy firm in New York City, advising clients in the entertainment, art and luxury goods sectors on their ecommerce, social media and digital marketing strategies.
Prior to joining Sitrick and Company, Mr. Churbuck was VP of Corporate Marketing at Acquia, a Boston-based SaaS provider of open source content management solutions to Global 2000 clients.
A native Cape Codder, Mr. Churbuck holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from Yale University.
Mr. Churbuck joins a roster of reporters and editors from such publications as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg News, NBC and CBS Television.
Michael Sitrick, the firm’s founder, Chairman and CEO said that he has long eyed Boston as a market that could benefit from the firm’s unique set of skills, but had not found the right person to run that office.
“David fills that need,” he said.
“I speak for everyone at the firm when I say we are very thrilled to have David join our team,” Mr. Sitrick said. “His knowledge and expertise in the media, financial, and technology sectors, as well as in digital and social media will further enhance our ability to serve our clients. It takes a certain combination of judgment and skill to succeed in this business and I am confident David has both.”
Mr. Churbuck added, “It’s an honor to join a firm with a reputation as outstanding as Sitrick And Company’s. The opportunity to work with Mike Sitrick and his team is compelling. Their reputation for achieving results for clients is well known. Mike and I share the opinion that there is significant opportunity to bring a new level of value to clients in the technology sector, not only in Boston but worldwide. I am very excited to join the firm and look forward to helping our clients achieve their goals.”
Sitrick And Company is internationally recognized as one of the top strategic communications firms in the country. Based in Los Angeles with offices in New York, San Francisco, Denver and Washington, D.C., Sitrick And Company was founded nearly 30 years ago and is recognized as one of the nation’s top strategic public relations firms. Best known for its work advising clients during crises and other sensitive matters, the firm has a successful business in corporate, financial and transactional communications, as well. It has advised well over 1,000 public and private companies, organizations and individuals on myriad issues. It was acquired as a wholly-owned subsidiary by Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ: RECN) in November 2009.
SOURCE Sitrick And Company, Inc.