Alan Hilburg

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Alan Hilburg
Nationality American
Occupation Brand, trust and crisis management consultant
Known for Wendy's "Where's the beef?" campaign; U.S. Business Hall of Fame; pioneer of crisis and litigation communications

Alan Hilburg is an American communications and branding consultant.[1][2] Hilburg specializes in crisis management, litigation and organizational brand alignment. Hilburg has worked on 107 trials and over 200 global crisis cases and branding campaigns beginning in 1982 for companies like Tylenol and more recently with the U.S. Veterans Administration.[1][3] He has also worked in various industries including the tobacco industry (in which he created the Under 18—No Tobacco strategy),[4] transportation, hospitality, environmental industries, chemical, healthcare and education sectors. Hilburg has over 30 years of experience as a communications strategist consultant, and has also written to two New York Times best selling books and produced several documentaries.[3][5] He has been described by the London Times as being a "leading corporate brand architect," and the New York Times has referred to him as the "Red Adair of corporate crisis management."[5][6]


Hilburg attended Franklin College in Indiana and graduated from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT).[7] He also holds a master's degree in organizational behavior.


After working as a senior executive with Burson-Marsteller, Hilburg established his own branding and consulting firm called Hilburg and Associates in 1987.[8] Later, his company was acquired by Porter Novelli, a division of Omnicom Group, in 2002.[9][10] The acquisition led to the creation of a new division called PNConsulting in which Hilburg carried on as president and CEO.[9][10]

Hilburg has been behind national marketing and branding campaigns such as Wendy's "Where's the beef?," General Electric's "Bringing Good Things to Life," and AT&T's Olympic Torch Run.[11]

Aside from his career in marketing and crisis management, Hilburg has also co-authored two New York Times Best Selling books: Russell Rules...Eleven Lessons on Leadership from the Greatest Winner of the Twentieth Century with former Boston Celtics Hall of Fame player Bill Russell and W. F. Rockwell's Twelve Hats of a Company President.[11] Hilburg was the executive producer of the HBO documentary featuring Russell.[12][13] Hilburg was also the executive producer of the first environmental film and second IMAX movie "Living Planet" and also the executive producer of the PBS Special, "New Sweden."[14]

Crisis management consulting[edit]

Hilburg is known for aiding brands and individuals during times of crisis and litigation transitions.[14] He has been the recipient of six Silver Anvil Awards for international communications excellence and five Clios for his advertising campaigns.[14][15]

Hilburg is also an accredited (APR) member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is an international speaker on the relationship of trust to branding, crisis management and litigation communications.[16][17]


  1. ^ a b Kevin Sieff (18 December 2010). "Consultant plans a beefy outreach campaign for Alexandria schools". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "CEOs Still Need Convincing that PR is Valuable". PR News. Phillips Business Information, Inc. 60 (21). 24 May 2004. 
  3. ^ a b "How NOT to handle a communications crisis – Alan Hilburg on MH370". BizNews. 25 March 2014. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Snyder, Dan; Koenig, Bill (8 April 1998). "Baseball's tobacco war". USA Today. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "NYU Reynolds R.E.A.L. Workshop Series: Realistic Entrepreneurial Actionable Learning". New York University. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Can You Hear Us Now? The Art of (Truly) Listening to Key Constituencies" (PDF). Arthur W. Page Society. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Kristy Cruz (7 May 2012). "Student Interview with Prof. Alan Hilburg". George Mason University. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "OMNICOM GROUP INC". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 25 February 2003. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Sara Calabro (28 October 2002). "PN snags Hilberg to help dispense executive advice". PR Week. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Paul Holmes (21 October 2002). "Porter Novelli Buys Hilburg Firm, Creates Consulting Unit". Holmes Report. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "President's Message" (PDF). Beltway Bits. May 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  12. ^ RICHARD SANDOMIR (16 June 2000). "Russell Redux: A Private Man Bursts Back Into the Public Eye". New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  13. ^ James Malcomb (17 March 2004). "Leesburg charity awards NBA Hall of Famer". Fairfax Times. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c "SPEAKER - ALAN HILBURG". ITWeb. 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "PROTECTING BRANDS, TRUST AND LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF CRISIS". Gordon Institute of Business and Science- University of Pretoria. 2014. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Alan Hilburg". Public Relations Society of America. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "President's Letter" (PDF). Vagara. Fall 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 

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