Gary Conkling

CFM expert on media relations, crisis communications and reputation management


A former newspaper reporter and editor, Conkling is accustomed to dealing with breaking news. As head of CFM's public relations team, he assists clients deal with crisis, prepare for crisis and take steps to avoid crisis. "Your reputation is your most valuable asset," Conkling says. "We help clients protect it."

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  • Newspaper reporter and editor and journalism instructor
  • Staff director for two Oregon congressmen
  • Crisis counselor to private, nonprofit and public clients since 1990
  • Executive faculty member at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management 
  • American Marketing Association member since 1998

Recent Articles featuring Gary Conkling as a source:

Gary Conkling, who is a top expert in crisis communication through CFM Strategic Communications. It would have been smart to consult him or another crisis-communication firm, as most organizations, including Willamette, are ill-prepared for these situations. It’s not in the playbook of regular communications spokespeople. Plus, an outside consultant might have had the clout to persuade the administration to act quicker and more publicly.”
— Dick Hughes, Editorial Page Editor and Columnist