Sep 1, 2022 - Economy & Business

Communicators Spotlight: Brooke Buchanan, Edelman EVP of crisis and risk

Photo illustration of Brooke Buchanan with abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo courtesy of Brooke Buchanan

Brooke Buchanan has been described as a "corporate ghostbuster" known for handling communications for Sen. John McCain, Walmart, Whole Foods and Theranos.

Why it matters: This is the first installment of the Communicators Spotlight series, in which we'll focus on one pro's relevant career highlights, best practices and interests. Today, we examine the high-stakes career of Buchanan, who currently serves as executive vice president of crisis and risk at Edelman.

πŸͺœ How she got here: Buchanan got her start in politics and gravitated toward crisis management early on with roles like supporting FEMA efforts after Hurricane Katrina, steering PR for McCain’s failed presidential campaign and navigating daily crises as a member of Walmart's corporate communications team.

πŸ“ˆ Trend spot: Buchanan is attuned to how the midterms might impact the way companies, brands or executives respond to social issues, geopolitics and current events.

🚨 News alerts: "I have two TVs in my home office that alternate between CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, BBC, FOX, WDIV (Detroit's NBC affiliate)," she said.

  • She also scans morning newsletters from Axios, Axios Detroit, Protocol, The Hustle, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ Influenced by: She listens to a range of podcasts β€” from "The Daily" to "Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald" β€” regularly watches "The Golden Girls" or foreign procedural dramas and recently read "The Bomber Mafia" by Malcolm Gladwell.

πŸ“§ Open rates: Normally her most-used app is Words with Friends, but this week she's been glued to the U.S. Open app.

πŸŒ… Morning ritual: "I work across time zones and my evenings can go pretty late, so I wake up around 7:30am, usually by my lawless yet beloved golden retriever, Willoughby."

  • But no breakfast for Buchanan. "I’m trying out intermittent fasting, so I typically have one cup of Buc-ee’s coffee around noon."

πŸ’†πŸ»β€β™€οΈ De-stress routine: She plays tennis on the weekends to unwind and always has a trip planned as something to look forward to.

  • "I had a recent epiphany that taking time off allows you to reset and return stronger and more focused."

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