Kirk Dorn’s job is reputation management. That may involve increasing an organization’s visibility or fixing a damaged image. Or it may mean helping a company maintain an existing excellent reputation. And as Ceisler Media’s Philadelphia office expert on crisis communications, Kirk has proven that most crises become manageable once emotion is removed and the situation is methodically addressed.
His primary practice centers on companies and nonprofits that provide services on behalf of the government or are government bodies themselves. These include schools, low-income and senior housing providers, social service agencies, financial services and healthcare companies. For example, he has served for more than a decade as the Communications Representative for Camelot Schools, as that organization has grown into one of the nation’s foremost alternative education organizations.
Most of Kirk’s work is done through campaigns – creating key messages and then building communications around that foundation. He crafted the public information operation to overcome objections to the land sale to the Mormon Church for its new temple in Philadelphia. A concerted news media campaign persuaded critics to back off their position and the temple was built. Similarly, he directed a communications campaign that explained the Please Touch Museum’s need for reorganization and the move into and out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a way that allowed the institution to emerge with its excellent reputation intact.
Kirk’s skills are built on years of media experience. As a broadcast journalist, he manned the editor’s desk for nearly a decade at KYW Newsradio, the top-rated station in Philadelphia during his tenure. He also helped build and lead the nation’s largest statewide radio news network in Georgia, served as News Director for WWDB-FM in Philadelphia and was a News Supervisor for the Associated Press in Washington, D.C.
Before joining Ceisler Media in 2009, Kirk served six years as Executive General Manager of Communications for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. He created the agency’s “Building Beyond Expectations” brand, using that imaging as a springboard for all internal and external communications initiatives. The agency received unprecedented positive media coverage and public support for its programs and accomplishments.
Kirk began his college studies through the University of Maryland while serving in the American Forces Radio and TV Service in Korea. He completed his degree at Georgia State University.
He lives in Wynnewood with his wife, Sylvia, a computer analyst. Their adult son, Casey, has a meteorology degree from Penn State.
While he grew up a devotee of the Beatles and the Motown Sound, Kirk has become a huge fan of country music, which began during a short stint as a DJ at a country station in Columbus, GA. His favorite artists include Garth Brooks, Kenney Chesney, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, and back in the day Willie and Waylon.
He has what his workmates consider a quirky diet – mainly protein bars, bagels and orange colored vegetables.