Gene Grabowski’s professional mission is to apply hard work, creativity and experience to all assignments so that his clients achieve their goals. He is a distinguished communications counselor and former journalist known for creating and maintaining high-level strategic communications programs, conducting effective media outreach and directing digital and social media campaigns that move people to action.
Gene has earned the PR News Crisis Manager of the Year Award for his work on various campaigns, including the litigation struggle of the Kuwaiti detainees in Guantanamo, the global lead-paint-in-toys recall, and the North American recall of pet foods.
Clients for whom Gene directs programs and provides counsel include corporations, associations and non-profit groups engaged in sensitive high-stakes issues and who often face intense media scrutiny, regulatory pressure and litigation threats.
Gene has special expertise in working with the food industry, colleges and universities and insurance companies. He is also a highly skilled media trainer with more than 25 years’ experience preparing business executives and public officials for news interviews and presentations.
Gene came to kglobal from Levick Strategic Communications where he served as Executive Vice President and directed numerous public relations efforts for companies of all sizes.
Gene has headed communications for two of Washington’s largest trade associations. For seven years, he served as Vice President of Communications and Marketing for The Grocery Manufacturers of America – the world’s largest food trade group representing brand-name food, beverage, and consumer-product companies. Gene was the organization’s chief communications strategist and spokesperson and directed the organization’s outreach to national and global regulators. He also directed communications for six years at the American Council of Life Insurers, helping that industry navigate a major solvency crisis, managing media relations during controversies involving agent sales practices, and aiding in the transition of major insurance providers into financial services companies.
Before joining GMA, Gene served as a Director in Burson-Marsteller’s Washington office, where he developed and managed national advocacy and media relations campaigns for leading U.S. corporations. At Burson-Marsteller, he also managed strategic communications campaigns in many countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Tanzania and Uganda.
For more than 12 years, Gene worked as a journalist, primarily in Washington, D.C. He reported on congressional issues for The Associated Press, specializing in labor and manufacturing issues, and served as White House Reporter for The Washington Times, where he covered the U.S.-Soviet arms treaty summits, the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork, national election campaigns, and the federal budget. Gene has also served as Director of Media Relations for the American Council of Life Insurers and as Manager of Press Information at C-SPAN.
Gene earned a Bachelors of Arts in Writing and History at the University of Pittsburgh, and has done graduate work in management at the University of Michigan. He serves on the board of International Social Service USA, an organization dedicated to helping children, families and adults whose lives have been disrupted by migration and international crises and he mentors high school students as part of Washington DC’s College Bound program. An avid chess player, Gene holds a ranking with the U.S. Chess Federation.
One last thing…Gene has managed communications for more than 170 food, drug and consumer product recalls in his career. He says a prayer before every meal.
The 5 biggest communications mistakes companies make in food recalls
June 4, 2018
June 4, 2018
| by Gene Grabowski
In my career, I’ve managed communications for more than 170 food recalls. I’ve witnessed scores of mistakes by smart, well-meaning companies. And I’ve made at least a few mistakes myself along the way. To paraphrase Tolstoy, all good recalls are alike; every bad recall is bad in its own way. But there are a few […]
The Strange New World of Food Recalls
May 9, 2018
May 9, 2018
| by Gene Grabowski
Welcome to the strange new world of food recalls. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reacts to public and congressional pressure for more stringent oversight of food safety, the process of recalling contaminated food has become far harsher, complicated, and expensive for food producers. In fact, food recalls, once performed cooperatively by the FDA […]