Cone announces crisis comms VP, new clients

BOSTON: Cone Communications has hired Jennifer Sheehy as VP of crisis management, winning new clients in the process.

BOSTON: Cone Communications has hired Jennifer Sheehy as VP of crisis management, winning new clients in the process.

Before joining Cone, Sheehy was VP and crisis comms director at Boston-based Clarke Goward (formerly Clarke & Company). Mike Lawrence, the crisis practice head and EVP, said Sheehy has brought Birdseye and several New England-based municipal electric utilities in as clients on an as-needed basis.

Sheehy's experience lies in the food, consumer healthcare, and energy industries. She also has experience with vulnerability audits, crisis plan development, crisis simulations, longer-term issues, and reputation management.

"She's had ten years of experience, with a lot of it on the front lines," Lawrence said. "With her work being implementation-orientated, we have the ability to both plan and execute."

He also cited Sheehy's media relations work as an added benefit. "Crisis communications is more and more becoming a necessary piece of what we do," Lawrence said, adding that "[With blogs] every consumer can now become the New York Times."

Cone's crisis communications team has Jiffy Lube and E.W. Scripps - home to the Food Network and HGTV - as clients and previously handled Dunkin Donuts. The two-person department is looking for a supporting crisis person, and draws from the agency's main staffing pool as it sees fit.

Lawrence said Cone would be interested in tapping Sheehy's previous client base, which includes Friendly's and a division of Johnson & Johnson.

Lynn Kettleson, an SVP at Clarke Goward, is assuming Sheehy's administrative duties while the firm searches for her replacement.

"You hate to lose good people, but we?re doing just fine here," Kettleson said. "We wish her well."

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