It’s crowded out there, easy to get lost in all the PR hype. David Polk helps businesses cut through the noise to
engage audiences that matter. He has advised Fortune 100 companies on reputation management, ﬁnancial
communications, media relations, crisis communications, issues management, litigation support and special
situations. He understands that it takes more than trendy PR gimmicks to help businesses achieve their goals. It
takes results-driven strategy and expert execution. His expertise as a strategist and practitioner in a broad range
of industries has helped ﬁrms project their value, protect their reputation and, ultimately, grow their business.
Issues ManagementMedia Relations
Social Media Strategy
Mergers & Acquisitions
As the top media relations strategist for several industry leading
companies, David has overseen every aspect of communicating a
company’s value, from earnings releases, executive interviews,
investor roadshows, M&A and licensing deals, bond offerings and
much more. He maintains extensive contacts with top-tier business
and trade reporters and has routinely secured exclusive coverage in
the most sought after business, trade and B-to-B media outlets.
With sales of its top-selling drug Aranesp spiraling downward due to
safety concerns and the company’s depressed stock price giving rise
to takeover rumors, Amgen’s future growth was literally riding on its
next potential blockbuster drug, known as denosumab. Key to easing
shareholder concerns was a milestone partnership with
GlaxoSmithKline to sell the drug in Asia and emerging markets.
David led the collaborative effort between Amgen and GSK to
develop messaging and coordinate outreach to the international
business media that resulted in positive coverage around the world.
David was the architect of a media and executive visibility strategy
that told the story of Tyco’s transformation from a corporate
cautionary tale to a company guided by a talented, ethical executive
team. His messaging positioned the $30 billion conglomerate as a
proﬁtable operating company instead of an assortment of disparate
units acquired during the previous leadership’s tenure. The strategy
garnered extensive positive coverage, including in the Wall Street
Journal, BusinessWeek, USA Today, Fortune and Fast Company,
and on network morning shows Good Morning America and Today.
When the ‘got milk’ campaign came under attack in the blogosphere
from critics complaining that actress Salma Hayek speaking Spanish
in U.S. commercials was anti-American, David defended the milk
industry’s perennial campaign. His messaging stressed Ms. Hayek’s
cross-cultural popularity and the campaign’s historic use of diverse
celebrities to extol milk’s nutritional values. David’s strategy of
engaging trendsetting mommy bloggers did double duty - effectively
thwarting the critics and heightening awareness of the campaign.
Social Media Savvy
When safety concerns intensiﬁed Food and Drug Administration
oversight of Amgen’s $3 billion drug Aranesp, David became deeply
engaged in efforts to protect the integrity of the product and defend
the company’s reputation as an ethical and innovative biotech
pioneer. In the immediate aftermath of negative clinical trials, he
helped execute a crisis plan to tell the company’s side of the story.
He then developed a long-term communications strategy that utilized
the CEO and head of R&D as chief storytellers to address patient,
physician, investor, regulator and employee concerns.
David has provided litigation support for many high-stakes corporate
cases, from whistleblower lawsuits to intellectual property disputes.
Raytheon’s lawsuit to discover the names of 21 employees sharing
competitively sensitive information in Yahoo! chat rooms became a
national story overnight and set a precedent for social media privacy.
David won balanced news coverage of Raytheon’s contentious move
to sue Yahoo! as he convinced reporters and editors that employees
have an obligation to protect nonpublic information, and that social
media forums are not the company water cooler.
Corralling Mad Cow
When a case of mad cow disease, or Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy (BSE), was discovered on a California cattle ranch,
the dairy industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture joined
forces to address America’s concerns. David provided counsel and
led efforts to manage the message that the nation’s dairy supply was
safe and that there was no danger to consumers. By proactively
engaging dozens of social and traditional media, facts about the
disease and the government’s investigation were delivered.
David has developed communications strategy for many high-proﬁle
controversial issues, from SEC investigations, stock drops, executive
transitions, layoffs and plant closings. He was Raytheon’s chief
media strategist and spokesperson during the company’s bitter strike
by 2,700 electrical workers in Massachusetts. The walkout was
Raytheon’s ﬁrst in 30 years, generating major demonstrations and
national news coverage. David counseled company executives and
the negotiation team before and during the month-long stoppage.
Labor Unrest, etc.