BCW's former US crisis lead Karen Doyne launches firm

Doyne started at Burson-Marsteller in 2003.

Karen Doyne
Karen Doyne

WASHINGTON: BCW’s U.S. crisis lead Karen Doyne has launched a crisis comms consultancy.

She started the new firm, called Doyne Strategies, on May 1. An agreement with BCW prevents her from disclosing the names of her initial clients.

"I am launching with a healthy client base," Doyne said.

She noted that she will likely keep the firm a one-person shop, contracting for other talent as needed, in order to keep the business personal.

"I’m looking forward to focusing on a smaller group of clients who can each get more of my time and energy," Doyne said.

The current political and social climate makes this an ideal time to start a crisis comms business, she explained.

"In part, it’s a function of social media and the pressure that creates on crisis response and readiness," said Doyne. "Crises today spike higher and have a deeper impact than ever, so it’s a thriving market for crisis services."

She added that clients want choices in hiring crisis help, so there is room for all kinds of firms including global agencies, solo consultancies and boutique firms.

In 2003, Doyne started at Burson-Marsteller, which merged last year with Cohn & Wolfe to form BCW. Initially, she was MD of public affairs and crisis and U.S. leader of crisis. In 2018, she became BCW’s EVP, MD and U.S. crisis lead. Her last day at BCW was April 30.

A spokeswoman for BCW did not specifically address Doyne’s departure nor the firm’s plans for her empty position and only said that BCW is "always looking for great new people to join the extraordinary talent we have on our issues and crisis team."

Before Burson, Doyne had worked as an SVP at Ketchum and, even earlier, as director of national media relations for PBS.

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