Newsroom Ink’s “Crisis after Crisis – Rebuilding a Respected Brand”

by / Newsroom Ink on 02/28/2013
Ewell Smith

No other chief executive has more experience in crisis communications and rebuilding a brand. As executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Smith has led the organization through more than a lifetime of crises that played out in only a few years. Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

by Newsroom Ink staff

Hard-won experience has taught Ewell Smith one thing: You can never be too ready to manage a crisis and communicate about it.

No other chief executive has more experience in crisis communications and rebuilding a brand. As executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Smith has led the organization through more than a lifetime of crises that out in only a few years. played

Creditline: Photo by Irving Johnson III

During the Deepwater Horizon crisis, Ewell Smith (in red), executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, was one of the most respected authorities for developing a better working relationship between the seafood community and the oil industry. His advice and consul was sought by legislators and even the White House. Photo: Irving Johnson III

During the first months of the Deepwater Horizon crisis in the Gulf of Mexico his organization established LouisianaSeafoodNews.com which helped generate more than 3.4 billion -with a B – media impressions telling the story of how the spill affected the  Louisiana seafood community.

At the March 28th IABC Houston monthly luncheon and following workshop – Crisis after Crisis – Rebuilding a Respected Brand, Newsroom Ink will sponsor a unique opportunity to learn how to handle a crisis and rebuild a brand.

“Ewell Smith will be joined by founder and partner Greg Beuerman of beuerman miller fitzgerald, a New Orleans public relations firm,” said Newsroom Ink’s CEO Ed Lallo.  “Beuerman was instrumental in helping the Louisiana Seafood Board establish working relations with both Shell and BP that has continue to date.”

With more than 34 years of experience in media management, public relations and  crisis communications, Beuerman specializes in the field of maritime and energy crisis communications and has managed vessel crises and oil and gas environmental incidents around the world.

Smith will be joined by founder and partner Greg Beuerman of beuerman miller fitzgerald, a New Orleans public relations firm, who was instrumental in helping the Louisiana Seafood Board establish working relations with both Shell and BP that continue to date. Photo: BMF

Smith will be joined by founder and partner Greg Beuerman of beuerman miller fitzgerald, a New Orleans public relations firm, who was instrumental in helping the Louisiana Seafood Board establish working relations with both Shell and BP that continue to date. Photo: BMF

During Hurricane Katrina, he served as Incident Command Liaison Officer for the  government, managing inter-governmental and community relations for the response to eight major oil spills resulting from the storm.

A native of Nashville, Tennessee,  he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lipscomb University, and was selected as a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Politics.  The president of Iceland appointed Greg as Consul General of Iceland for Louisiana.  Clients include Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Valero,  ConocoPhillips, Hilcorp, LLOG, Eni Petroleum and the US Department of Energy Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Beuerman and Smith will talk about the need to:

  • Determine your point of view/brand strategy upfront – before trouble knocks at your door.
  • Create a clear, credible storyline, with proof points – and stick with it, ignoring the static.
  • Make sure your leaders stay on message/know their roles – and speak with one voice.
  • Engage employees/customers/partners – encouraging them to tell their supporting stories.
  • Do a gut check often. Course-correct content as needed – staying true to your story/brand.

For the past 12 years as executive director, Ewell Smith has led market development, promotional activities and educational outreach for all of Louisiana’s seafood products. He serves as a legislative liaison among industry, state and federal officials, acting as a spokesperson for the industry.

Smith manages the board’s annual budget and strategic marketing plan.

He also serves as producer of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, which began in 2004 and airs nationally on Food Network and PBS.

Ewell Speaking_l

Ewell Smith of the Louisiana Seafood Board is passionate about marketing and communications. No other chief executive has more experience in crisis communications and rebuilding a brand. Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsoom Ink

Louisiana Seafood represents the diverse and dynamic interests of the state’s $2.4-billion seafood industry – the equivalent of a FORTUNE 1000 company.

As Louisiana Seafood’s executive director, he is home onboard a shrimp boat or walking Capitol Hill.

In his leadership role, Smith and team are advocates for commercial fishermen. They hear their concerns, create a strong public image for them and make their case at state, national and global levels.

After being in and out of harm’s way, Smith now counsels business people, government officials and even royalty, who find themselves in similar situations. They know his expertise is hard-won and worth hearing.

Take a plane, take a train, but if you have to walk get yourself to Houston just the same for this once in a lifetime opportunity to learn how to rebuild your brand following a crisis.


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