Lambert, a public relations, investor relations, and integrated communications agency, today announced that Katie Barnes joined the company as Director in its Crisis and Reputation Management group. Barnes will be critical to helping grow the business and supporting client strategies specific to crisis and issues management, crisis planning, and media and executive training.
“Crises come in all shapes and sizes, and Katie’s concentrated experience in strategic communications and expert counsel are what clients require when reputations are on the line,” stated Lambert Managing Director Jeff Gaunt. “Her experience leading proactive and reactive global communications strategies will be advantageous in supporting our clients across the agency.”
Barnes has over 10 years of public relations experience spanning automotive, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, direct selling, and telehealth industries, with the latter half of her career dedicated to brand reputation, corporate issues and crisis management for global organizations. She has led proactive reputation-related efforts in the areas of sustainability, community relations, change management and online community building. Her crisis expertise includes, but is not limited to, product and supply chain issues, technology failures, legal and regulatory issues, misinformation, environmental issues and COVID-19.
Before joining Lambert, Barnes was the Brand Reputation Manager with SmileDirectClub, a Nasdaq-listed international oral care company. Before that, she spent over six years on the global communications team at Amway in positions of increasing responsibility. She concluded her tenure at Amway as Assistant Brand Manager of Reputation, leading proactive and reactive global reputation efforts, including communications planning for the company’s first official sustainability platform. Barnes also worked with Ford Motor Company to support internal labor and manufacturing communications during the launch of the 50th anniversary Mustang and national UAW contract negotiations. She started her career on the agency side with MSL supporting the General Motors account. Barnes earned her Reputation Management Certification from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and bachelor’s degree in business and public relations from Ferris State University.
“Companies with great reputations often receive the benefit of the doubt in times of crisis,” said Barnes. “Managing a crisis requires agility, creativity and a plan, and I am thrilled to join Lambert in helping organizations develop their plans while advocating for a more holistic approach to managing reputations during the good times and the bad.”
Founded in 1998, Lambert invented the PR and IR integrated agency model with over 20 years of continuous growth attributed to the firm’s laser focus on strategic communications and bottom-line results in the achievement of client goals. The award-winning national agency is a top-40 PR and top-15 IR firm with top-5 specialties in automotive and mobility, education, and M&A/private equity, alongside robust practice areas in consumer packaged goods, healthcare and biotech, and tourism and hospitality. The firm’s reach spans six major talent hubs, including Grand Rapids, Detroit, New York, St. Louis, Houston, and Phoenix. Lambert is a founding partner of TiiCKER, a shareholder loyalty, marketing, and perks platform, and an equity partner in minority-owned independent marketing agency 9th Wonder. Lambert’s Founder and Chairman Jeff Lambert is the global board chair of PROI Worldwide, the world’s largest and most diverse partnership of PR firms, and named 2021 Ally of the Year, the top diversity award in public relations issued by Diversity Action Alliance.