Your image is a combination of thoughts, feelings, opinions and visions people have about your company, your products or your services.  It’s what others think and feel about you, not necessarily and solely what your marketing and sales materials say. Your identity in the marketplace reflects your company image.  Two companies might have a similar image, but what sets you apart from a competitor creates your specific market identity. The attributes of a company that differentiate you from other companies is your market position. Image and reputation are closely related, but to understand their differences is to recognize how they compliment each other.  You build an image.  Your reputation is something you gain over time through your actions.

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Jim Chesnutt is president and chief communications strategist of Nusura, an emergency management consulting firm. For more than 17 years he has worked in emergency management at the local, state and federal level. From 1999 to 2005 he served as the FEMA Region VIII deputy public affairs officer. He was responsible for coordinating public information, media relations, community outreach, congressional relations and intergovernmental affairs for more than 30 major disasters.

Chesnutt was one of FEMA’s initial team of four people that led public affairs and media relations following the 9/11 attacks on the
World Trade Center. He also served as a public affairs officer for the federal rescue effort following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He later transitioned to the position of special assistant to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Admiral Thad Allen during the recovery phase.

Chesnutt left FEMA to work on humanitarian emergencies in Africa and Southeast Asia and to focus domestically on issues related to emergency planning and communications strategies for vulnerable populations. He also provided strategic communications support to the City and County of Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 


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