2016 PR People Awards: Crisis Manager of the Year

Winner: John Guilfoil, Principal, John Guilfoil Public Relations

John Guilfoil has worked on notable campaigns that have effectively led clients through crisis situations and proven his ability as an effective crisis communicator.

When the sexual assault allegation broke at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, Guilfoil ensured the police department did not become entangled in the scandal. His guidance was a success, as The Boston Globe published “Police left out in assault complaint at Exeter” in July 2016—the first time in recent history a police department received positive press from the Globe during an investigation of this magnitude.

In addition, after a deadly stabbing in Taunton, Massachusetts, Guilfoil stepped in to work with the fire department to improve their communication system, which had been criticized during the incident, as no information had been released online and on social media outlets during the crisis. Guilfoil helped the fire department create its first social media policy, and is working to launch their new website.

Guilfoil is an exemplary leader who manages over 150 clients in six states. If a crisis situation were to occur in one of Guilfoil's clients' towns, he would immediately show up on the scene to assist his police, fire, municipal, small business and nonprofit clients. He often remains onsite to create a media staging area for reporters during a press conference, drafting talking points for the client and relaying information back to the office so one of his three full-time employees can write a press release that correlates with the issue at hand.

Honorable Mention:

  • Jeff Hallock, Orange County Sheriff's Department