Remembering Richard Levick: A Pioneer in Crisis and Reputation Management

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Photo by John Forson on Unsplash

Key Takeaways

– Richard Levick was a renowned figure in crisis and litigation management.
– He worked on high-profile cases involving companies, governments, and organizations.
– Levick emphasized humanizing his clients and promoting American values.
– He was considered the father of modern reputation management.
– Levick believed in the power of truth, transparency, and honesty in PR.

Early Life and Career

Richard Levick was born on September 10, 1955, in New York City. From a young age, he displayed a keen interest in communication and public relations. Levick attended Columbia University, where he studied journalism and political science. After completing his undergraduate degree, he pursued a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Levick’s career began in the legal field, where he worked as a litigator for several years. However, he soon realized that his true passion lay in crisis management and public relations. In 1998, he founded Levick, a strategic communications firm that specialized in helping clients navigate through challenging situations.

Reputation Management and Crisis Communication

One of Richard Levick’s most significant contributions to the field of public relations was his approach to reputation management. He believed that every individual and organization deserved a fair chance to tell their side of the story, regardless of public opinion. Levick understood the importance of humanizing his clients and highlighting their positive contributions to society.

Levick’s firm represented clients in various high-profile crises, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He worked tirelessly to protect the reputation of his clients while also advocating for transparency and accountability. Levick believed that by acknowledging mistakes and taking responsibility, organizations could rebuild trust and regain public support.

Global Impact

Richard Levick’s expertise in crisis management extended beyond the borders of the United States. His firm worked with governments and organizations worldwide, helping them navigate through complex challenges. Levick played a crucial role in the Venezuelan financial crisis, providing strategic counsel to the government during a time of economic turmoil.

Additionally, Levick represented the Catholic Church during the clergy abuse scandals that rocked the institution. He advocated for transparency and accountability within the Church, urging leaders to address the issue head-on and take appropriate measures to prevent further harm. Levick’s work in this area helped shed light on the importance of addressing systemic issues and protecting vulnerable individuals.

Legacy and Contributions

Richard Levick’s impact on the field of crisis and reputation management cannot be overstated. He was a trailblazer who revolutionized the way organizations approach public relations during times of crisis. Levick’s emphasis on truth, transparency, and honesty set a new standard for the industry.

In addition to his work with clients, Levick authored several books on reputation management and crisis communication. His writings continue to serve as valuable resources for professionals in the field. Levick’s legacy lives on through the work of his firm, which remains committed to upholding the principles he championed.


Richard Levick’s passing is a significant loss for the field of crisis and reputation management. His innovative approach to public relations, emphasis on truth and transparency, and dedication to humanizing his clients have left an indelible mark on the industry. Levick’s contributions will continue to shape the way organizations navigate through challenging situations and communicate with the public. His legacy serves as a reminder of the power of integrity and the importance of ethical communication in the world of PR.

Written by Martin Cole

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