Actionable messaging and competitive positioning describes the way a company, candidate or institution creates a preference in its market or target audience for its goods, services or ideas. It is the mandatory basis for a successful public relations and marketing program.

Done well, it has influence over a host of activities, ranging from naming and recruiting to fundraising. As a result, it is the best first step when creating a communications program.

By answering a set of five essential questions –
  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do and what problem do you solve?
  3. Who are your competitors?
  4. What does the market expect?
  5. Who says so?
– the ability to position a company, candidate or initiative comes more clearly into view, as does the capacity to craft actionable messaging around it.
Meet the Expert

John Berard

Consultant John Berard
President, Credible Context
Portland, OR
  • English
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About John

  • President, Credible Context consultancy
  • Board Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Board Member, TRUSTe
  • General Manager, Fitzgerald Communications
  • General Manager, Fleishman-Hillard
  • Deputy General Manager, Hill & Knowlton


President • Credible Context
2009 — Present
  • Helps companies market their products, services, even themselves by tapping into the persuasive power of their own story
  • Clients include: Neustar, Signature BioScience, Sapient, Oracle, RKO General
Managing Director • Zeno Group
2003 — 2007
  • Communications Agency specializing in consumer marketing, corporate affairs, digital engagement for healthcare and technology companies 
General Manager • Fitzgerald Communications
1999 — 2003
  • San Francisco Bay Area-adjunct to a Boston-based, high technology oriented communications consultantcy.
General Manager • Fleishman-Hillard
1996 — 1999
  • San Francisco-based office of a global public relations agency based in St. Louis.
Deputy General Manager • Hill & Knowlton
1983 — 1996
  • GM of Washington, DC office
  • Senior Vice President, Gray & Co. acquired by Hill & Knowlton, 1986


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
BA, Communications, 1974

Academic Awards

Gannett Journalism Scholarship


  • Board of Directors, International Association of Privacy Professionals (2002-2008). 
  • Board of Directors, TRUSTe (1997-2004). 
  • Board of Directors, Market Street Railway (2001-Present).

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