ATLANTA: Ray Crockett, former director of communications for Coca-Cola North America, died Sunday at age 68 after a four-month battle with cancer.
Crockett, who worked at Coca-Cola for 11 years, retired from the company in July 2010. Since then, he had served as a senior consultant at Atlanta-based Hartman Public Relations.
In 1999, Crockett was director of communications for Coca-Cola's Minute Maid division. A year later, he took on responsibility for Minute Maid's brand and consumer communications.
Crockett transitioned to Coca-Cola North America in 2003, where he served as director of communications until he left the company seven years later. In that role, he led communications for Still Beverages, which includes Minute Maid and Simply Orange juice drinks, Dasani, Powerade, Nestea, and emerging brands. He also handled crisis communications and developed an environmental PR plan for the division, leading communications efforts for the PlantBottle launch.
Prior to working at Coca-Cola, Crockett was director of communications at Lockheed Martin from 1996 to 1999. Before that, he served as public affairs manager at ITT Defense for two years.
Crockett began his communications career in the US Air Force in 1968 as an information officer for the Air Weather Service. He held various positions throughout his tenure in the Air Force, ultimately serving as director of public affairs for Pacific Air Forces, the Air Force's largest overseas major command, stretching from Alaska to Singapore. Crockett retired from the Air Force in 1993.
Crockett also volunteered by assisting with communications for American Red Cross chapters in Houston, Atlanta, and Fort Wayne, IN, as well as several committees of the PRSA's Georgia Chapter. The society named him a PRSA Fellow, its highest honor, in 2008.
Crockett is survived by his wife of 42 years, Carolyn, as well as three sons and three grandchildren.
“Ray Crockett was a man of integrity and intellect who had a great passion for public relations,” said PRSA chair and CEO Mickey Nall. “Ray's steadfast dedication to PRSA, especially to his beloved Georgia chapter, and to the profession at large are an inspiration to all of us who follow in his footsteps. Though his contributions to the society will be missed, his impact and his legacy will live on in our hearts. On behalf of PRSA, I offer my sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”
This story was updated on March 18 with comments from PRSA CEO Mickey Nall.