Peter Debreceny

Peter joined Gagen MacDonald in 2007 after retiring as vice president of Corporate Relations at Allstate Insurance Company, where he was responsible for internal and external communications for the Allstate Corporation and its subsidiaries. In addition to leading the teams for several of the firm’s largest client engagements, he has initiated the development of the firm’s specialist intranet and corporate social responsibility practices.

Specializing in advising clients on strategic communications, change management and corporate social responsibility strategies, Peter has more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of public relations and integrated communications. He has practiced in those capacities in corporate and agency roles in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Prior to being appointed to his position at Allstate in September 1998, he held the position of senior vice president, Corporate and Financial Relations at Edelman Worldwide, Chicago.

Peter joined Gagen MacDonald in 2007 after retiring as vice president of Corporate Relations at Allstate Insurance Company, where he was responsible for internal and external communications for the Allstate Corporation and its subsidiaries. In addition to leading the teams for several of the firm’s largest client engagements, he has initiated the development of the firm’s specialist intranet and corporate social responsibility practices.

Specializing in advising clients on strategic communications, change management and corporate social responsibility strategies, Peter has more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of public relations and integrated communications. He has practiced in those capacities in corporate and agency roles in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Prior to being appointed to his position at Allstate in September 1998, he held the position of senior vice president, Corporate and Financial Relations at Edelman Worldwide, Chicago.

Peter began his career as a current affairs journalist in radio and television. Since entering public relations, he has concentrated on providing strategic communications advice primarily to corporate and financial areas. He has been extensively involved in external reputation management, investor and financial communications and crisis and issues management. He has broad integration marketing communications experience, in particular through a variety of sponsorship activities in sports and the arts.

Peter is a two-time Silver Anvil award winner of the Public Relations Society of America and was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Service Award by the Arthur W Page Society. In 2009 he was inducted as a member of the PR News Hall of Fame. Peter serves the industry in a variety of capacities, including regularly lecturing at universities in the United States and overseas. He is a frequent speaker at public relations conferences, and has been a judge of numerous international public relations awards. He was the 2008 James C. Bowling Executive-in-Residence at the University of Kentucky and the Vernon C. Schranz Distinguished Lecturer in Public Relations at Ball State University. He is a member of the accreditation teams for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. He served as Chair of the Institute for Public Relations, and as vice president of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Peter was formerly the Chair of the Communications Committee of the Insurance Information Institute, and the Communications Committee of the Executives’ Club of Chicago. He is active in community affairs, and has served on the boards of the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, and the Chicago Opera Theater.

Education:

  • Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (B.A., Political Science and Public Administration)
  • Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter
  • Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance and Associate in Regulation and Compliance
  • American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters

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