Whether your company is unknown or well known (which, under some circumstances, can make the stoutest heart run for cover) Lori Booker is one of the area’s “go to” individuals for turning public opinion in your favor. She founded CBR Strategic Communications nearly 30 years ago and has grown it into one of the leading independent public relations and media relations firms in Florida, providing clients with strategic counsel and direction to grow their market or to build and protect their reputations.
With clients who have been with CBR for as long as 20 years – from Fortune 50 companies to local municipalities – they have come to depend on Booker and her team for immediate, candid and sage counsel in some of the most difficult situations. In addition, the news media know that they can count on CBR for accurate and ethical communication.
She was drawn to the profession because, “I have a passion for fairness and accuracy in the news media. Coupled with my love of writing, advocacy and excitement, this career fits me like a glove. I never know from day to day what challenges await me. In one day alone, we were called to handle an alleged bomb near an airport, food tampering at a grocery store and to provide insight on TV news about how a celebrity could re-earn his good reputation,” she explained.
Booker credits making wise investments as the key to her success. “I invest in hiring people smarter than me. I invest in the companies who entrust their reputations to me. I invest my heart and soul into companies that turn to us in crises,” she said.
Booker also learned from some of the best. She credits Fred Moore, APR, former PR director for Florida Hospital, who taught her that you can demand and receive fairness and objectivity from reporters. “They have a job to do, and so do we. Working together toward the common goal of accuracy and fairness is a win-win for the client and the newsroom.” She also credits Robert Dilenschneider, who wrote one of the seminal works on the PR industry, Power and Influence. “In it, he emphasizes that companies should focus their budget and energies on very specific target markets – the key influencers,” she explained.
Booker admits that she loves being “underestimated,” and that her greatest obstacle has been “the shoulds.” “When I was being a mom I felt I should be at the office. When I was at the office, I thought I should be home with my children. I jokingly say that I don’t ‘should on me’ anymore.”