Chris Lackner

Senior Consultant

Chris Lackner

BIO:

Chris has 20 years of experience in media relations, marketing, and public relations. With a background in political consulting and years of experience on political campaigns, he knows the importance of having a strong communications strategy. Not coincidentally, he also is rather adept at crisis management.

Chris has worked with national and local PR firms, and has secured placements in the New York TimesUSA Today, NPR, BBC World Service, and dozens of other national and local outlets. When he’s not plugging away at his desk, he can usually be found planning another long-distance cycling trip or enjoying a martini, or a combination of the two.


 

 Q&A

What is your favorite part of working in PR?

What I like about it is being a part of the news: being the news creator and news generator. I like the idea of seeing our work in print and then having it be part of the public discussion or business discussion.


If you could drink with anyone from history, who would it be?

I’d go back and drink cider with the founding fathers. Can you imagine being part of the inner circle of people who built a country from scratch?


What do you when you are facing a creative block? 

When I’m facing a creative block, the first thing I do is step away from the problem, either physically or intellectually. I just table it and do something to clear my head, whether it’s taking a walk or having a conversation with somebody. When I’m frustrated about a creative project, I try to break it down into smaller pieces so it’s a bit more manageable.


One piece of advice you would offer to someone trying to enter the PR industry?

Be a news consumer. A lot of times, people want to join PR for the parties and the tchotchkes, but it’s really about building relationships with reporters. We trade in the business of news and to do that you need to read the news and understand the news cycle and how news is made.


How long have you been working in PR?

Technically speaking, my first PR job was working as a political campaign manager in 1997—so 20 years.


How would you describe working for a large PR Firm compared to one like Akrete?

One thing I like about Akrete is that it’s built for speed. We’re able to move faster for our clients because we’re untethered by bureaucracy, so we spend more time doing work for clients and less time with administrative work.


What is a song to describe your work ethic?

“This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads. To be successful in any job, you have to be happy with what you’re doing and happy with where you’re at. But mostly this is my favorite Talking Heads song.


What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies? etc…

I play hockey and I do a lot of long distance cycling. I’m pretty good at making a martini, and equally good at drinking one.


What is your favorite book? 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What are three interesting facts about you?

  1. I cycled from Seattle to Santa Cruz (1100 miles) a few years ago, and then Santa Cruz to San Diego (600 miles) more recently, which is basically the entire west coast.
  2. I have a songwriting credit on an independent film that was made in the late 90s.
  3. It is almost a guarantee that I will get the hiccups after eating a jalapeno pepper. On a related note, I once had the hiccups for 48 hours straight.

Quote you live by and why?

“A ship in harbor is safe. But that’s not what ships are built for.”