Dr. Harrell, with more than 20 years experience in public relations and public affairs, is a generalist with broad experience in crisis communications, issue management, public issue campaigns, reputation management, litigation support, investor relations, and product and service marketing.
His industry experience is equally broad, and includes: accounting; banking and financial services; beverages; cement manufacturing; cosmetics and skin care; direct selling; economic development; environmental services (sanitary landfills, recycling, laboratory services, waste hauling and hazardous waste disposal); health supplements; higher education; hospitality; legal services; medical services and equipment; metals reprocessing; oil and gas (E&P, refining, transportation and well service); pharmaceuticals; philanthropy; real estate (development, REITs); retailing (convenience, discount); transportation (airlines, airports, public transit, pipelines); and utilities (electric).
Before forming The Harrell Group, Dr. Harrell was a founding officer of Halcyon Associates, a company that he and his co-founders developed into one of Dallas’ premier (and largest) public relations firms. Before that, he was a Vice President of Hill and Knowlton, Inc., a large international public relations/public affairs firm, first in its Financial Relations Division and later as manager of the Corporate and Professional Services group in its Dallas office.
Over the years, Dr. Harrell has managed and directed programs for: development of a refined products pipeline; a statewide business coalition active in school finance and tax reform; the nation’s largest convenience retailer; several health care organizations; a large herbal products direct seller; the nation’s largest skin care direct seller; a vitamin product direct seller; an NYSE-listed metals reprocessing company; two significant philanthropic organizations; an NYSE-listed natural gas producer; a major integrated oil and gas company; a nationwide law firm; a large defense systems manufacturer; a large solid waste management firm; a large regional airline operator; a leading international airport; a noted distance learning institution; and a large regional bank.
For these clients and others, Dr. Harrell has: managed statewide issue campaigns involving school finance, tax reform, natural gas regulation, pipeline development and other issues; worked with companies involved in mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests, asset sales, refinancings and bankruptcies; developed communications related to the siting or permitting of sanitary landfills, cement plants, multi-use developments, and hazardous waste disposal facilities; managed communications programs for companies involved in Superfund Site and NEPA Review activities; assisted companies under EPA, FBI and SEC investigation; assisted companies under attack by disgruntled former employees; prepared annual and quarterly reports and other SEC disclosure documents; conducted research and marketing activities for healthcare products and services; and managed communications for a nationwide sales promotion and national and regional product rollouts.
His work has been recognized with SuperReggie, Katie, Silver Spur and other awards for projects that include sales promotions, annual reports and writing.
Before entering the agency business, Dr. Harrell was director of communication planning for a large electric utility. Prior to that, he served on the faculties and coached debate at Big 12 and other universities. His articles have appeared in professional and business publications and he has spoken before a number of academic and professional groups. He is a member of advisory boards at two of his alma maters, Southwest Missouri State University and the University of Kansas, and serves on the Board of Directors for Dallas-based Reading and Radio Resource.