M Booth hires James Donnelly as director of issues, crisis management

Donnelly joins from Ketchum, where he worked for 25 years.

James Donnelly
James Donnelly

NEW YORK: M Booth has brought on James Donnelly as director of issues and crisis management.

He directly reports into M Booth EVP Rich Goldblatt. Donnelly, who joined the firm on January 14, does not have any direct reports. However, he will work with and mentor 15 staffers specifically on issues and crises.

In the newly created role, Donnelly oversees M Protect, the firm’s suite of offerings that includes resiliency programs and tools, along with counsel services to guide clients through emerging crises or persistent issues.

"So many clients want to make sure they are protecting their reputation; it doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate, brand, or food client," said Donnelly.

He explained that he wants to instill the concept of "reputation resilience" with M Booth clients. That idea, he said, is centered on the fact that companies need to plan and have people assigned to issues and crisis management, but also need to "think around the next corner."

"Companies need to be ready for the next thing, not the stuff you can predict," Donnelly said.

He added that M Booth is building tools and processes to get clients in that direction.

Prior to joining M Booth, Donnelly spent 25 years at Ketchum, where he was a founding member of the agency’s first formal issues and crisis team. Most recently, he was Ketchum’s SVP of issues and crisis management.

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