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Kellie Cummings
Kellie Cummings is a management consultant and thought leader with more than 15 years of experience in marketing, business communication, and business operations.

Previously she served as assistant vice president of a global investment management firm. Her experiences in that role during the 2008 U.S. financial crisis led her to develop business practices and methodologies for creating trust with customers and employees during periods of uncertainty. Currently, she shares these practices through articles, speaking engagements, and consulting.

She currently writes for the Huffington Post, the American Society of Training and Development, IABC, Simply Communicate, and American Banker.

She is accredited by the International Association of Business Communicators.


Corporate Marketing and Communications

From 2005 to 2011, Ms. Cummings served first as associate editorial director and later as assistant vice president and associate content marketing director for T. Rowe Price, a global investment management organization. In these roles, Kellie:

  • Provided speech writing and platform message development for senior leaders, set best practice standards for the editorial team, conducted training sessions, and created an editorial online collaboration space to ensure consistent messaging and reduce rework.
  • Served as managing editor of Planlink Magazine.
  • Developed a talent pipeline with the company’s proofreading group.
  • Created a syndication strategy for intellectual capital and developed internal processes for search engine optimization across the company’s websites.
  • Based on insights gained during the financial crisis, she collaboratively established an enterprise communications team and a corresponding audience-centric communications methodology that was widely embraced across the organization.


Entrepreneur

From 1998 to 2005, she worked as an independent marketing consultant, serving a variety of government and private sector clients. Ms. Cummings began her business in the New York area and specialized in film, video, and interactive media. After moving to Annapolis, Maryland in 2001, she progressed to websites and eventually expanded into business strategy and corporate communications.

In addition, from 2001 to 2004, while also working as an independent consultant, she started and ran a handmade pottery company, imported from Portugal and sold to wholesale and retail customers.


Specialties

  • Business and communication strategy
  • Change management
  • Content and message development
  • Executive communications
  • Internal communications
  • Media production
  • Mindset segmentation
  • Process design and improvement
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Trust literacy


Client History

Ameritrade (now TD Ameritrade)
Blue Ridge Risk Services
Brook Group Ltd.
CASA for Children
Grant Architects
Comcast Marketing
Comcast Sales
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Manning Selvage and Lee
Network Security Consulting
Palm Beach
Showtime Networks
The Santa Maria
The White House, Office of Management and Budget
Woodbridge Builders


Awards

2009 Platinum MarCom
2000 Telly Award

Team-based awards include:
2009, 2010 MarCom Gold;
2009, 2010 PSCA Gold; and
2007 PSCA Bronze.


Personal

Raising two adolescent children recently adopted through the foster system
Served on the board of directors for CASA for Children
A longtime advocate and volunteer for Special Olympics


The Path Leading to Trust Communications

Kellie Cummings began developing crisis communication and leadership strategies during the financial crisis when customers were awash in fear. Through a process called “mindset segmentation,” she created tools that establish an emotional understanding of customers and enable businesses to communicate effectively in a time of stress.

As an associate editorial director at a financial services firm, she and her team were steeped in behavioral economics and the financial impact of emotions. Because of the extreme magnitude of the crisis, each manager she contacted became an advocate for the project and her role in the organization expanded dramatically.

At the same time, the company’s 401(k) division was in a unique state of crisis, struggling with information overload internally and constant requests for insight and perspective externally. By applying mindset-based segmentation strategies, Ms. Cummings developed a framework that she eventually applied to the enterprise. This audience-centric method placed customers at the center of communication strategies, established a unified messaging approach for internal and external audiences, and increased internal efficiencies by as much as 50% percent.

Together the two processes enabled an empathetic understanding of customers and a unified messaging strategy that spanned silos. As a result, the business gained measurable tools for building trust with customers, particularly at a time of vulnerability when trust is poignantly at risk.

Her innovative ideas were widely embraced in the organization, and received praise from senior leaders. For example:

“[This] process facilitates a structured approach to considering a communication according to the audience…and empowers more targeted & meaningful collaboration.”

“The assessment criteria, between relevancy and engagement, helped me evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing strategy.”

“Your thoughtful approach to dovetail communication segmentation, client needs, and enterprise collaboration through this new process is impressive. And it’s wonderful to see such visible support from the [marketing leads].”