I've been privileged to work with some outstanding leaders and communicators, including some from very sizable and well-known organizations. Here are some comments from them:
P U B L I C R E L A T IO N S / C R I S I S C O M M U N I CA TI O N
former BP communication manager
In a crisis, information flow is critical. In some instances it could mean the difference between life and death. For more than a decade Gerald Baron has been at the forefront of thinking about the real issues that communicators face if their organization finds itself in the crisis spotlight.
His ‘ Now is Too Late’ books were visionary in terms of explaining the changing media dynamics, how the internet has altered the way the world wants to communicate and how organizations have to prepare to face the challenge yet can take advantage of the tremendous opportunities these shifts throw up.
Testimony to his innovative thinking, he invented a tool – the PIER system – that gave corporate communicators a system to help them manage through the communication storm that erupts in a crisis and to serve their key audiences efficiently. The system proved itself during both the worst industrial accident in recent US history as well as during the nation’s worst environmental disaster.
His insights are deeply intelligent; his counsel astute – and both are delivered with humility and humanity. He has the rare quality of being a communicator who combines strategic vision and tactical excellence.
Former Communication Manager, Global Marketing and Refining, BP
Principal, Alpha Voice Communications
(Neil was a lead communicator for BP in a number of significant events in the past few years including the Texas City Refinery accident, the Alaska Pipeline corrosion issues, and of course, the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill.)
Social media and organization communication guru par excellence, podcaster at "For Immediate Release."
On "Now Is Too Late2: Survival in an Era of Instant News:
"...one of the best books available on crisis communication in the digital era."
John P. "Pat" Philbin, Ph.D., APR
Gerald Baron’s prescient observations regarding the media environment many years ago affirmed my enormous respect for his insight and vision. As a former Chief of Coast Guard Public Affairs, I helped introduce Gerald’s vision manifested in the PIER System enterprise-wide to the Coast Guard Public Affairs Program. I credit his technology with helping the Coast Guard remain responsive and transparent to the extraordinary challenges of the ever-changing media environment. And, as a former Director for the Office of External Affairs following Hurricane Katrina—I wished we had implemented PIER! Doing the right thing is necessary but not sufficient; organizations must also communicate well, which is what this particular technology supports.
Having had the pleasure of working with Gerald as a business associate on numerous engagements, he brings a depth and breadth of communication knowledge and experience that is difficult—if not impossible—to replicate. Gerald is a thought leader in communication, and clients will appreciate his unparalleled expertise and unwavering commitment to do what is ethically, morally and legally right.
John P. “Pat” Philbin, Ph.D., APR
Former Head of Public Affairs, U.S.C.G.
Former Director of External Affairs, FEMA
President and CEO
Emergency Management, NASA and NIST
I've encountered very few pieces of software that have transformed how I do my job as much as PIER Systems. Gerald Baron, the founder of PIER, brilliantly encapsulated the communication needs of emergency managers into an easy to use web based system. Once I finally met Gerald in person I discovered that the software is simply a reflection of the man. Gerald absolutely "gets it" when it comes to the nebulous, thankless job of crisis communication. He was ahead of his time on the use of social media for public information and is still leading the way on the possibility of using these sites to help responders real-time. Yet, to chat with Gerald, you'll discover a down-to-earth individual, engrained in the culture of the Pacific Northwest. It is this balance of visionary and being grounded that, in my opinion, has led to his success.
S T R A T E G Y D E V E L O P M E N T
It has been my privilege and good fortune to receive the counsel and friendship of Gerald over a period of many years. He has been invaluable as a strategic marketing consultant for our family business. He is a person of impeccable standards and integrity. He is an entrepreneur-at-heart who is particularly effective in facilitating discovery of creative strategies in a highly competitive environment.
Gerald served as a facilitator for a strategic planning process for the Washington State board of directors for my business professional organization. His light-hearted and respectful manner created an ideal atmosphere for team thinking that quickly brought this group to consensus on some highly challenging issues.
Gerald is an exceptional listener with a highly personal style that quickly earns trust and confidence in a candid and challenging way that inspires great results.
Former President, Moles Family Services