Wise Counsel

Wise Counsel Team

John Berard


John Berard’s approach to communications counsel is rooted in the idea that products, services, ideas, companies, institutions and individuals earn endorsement on the strength of who they are, what they deliver and how they affect the way people work and live.

Telling that story requires more than simple statistics. It demands that they exist in a context that gives them the best chance to be understood. The idea first arose nearly 40 years ago when Berard helped implement noise reduction requirements along a busy highway. The interplay of motorists, residents, highway officials, politicians and advocates revealed the shortcomings in just focusing on noise now vs. noise later.


Ten years after that, when helping introduce a new Asian vehicle to the U.S., it was clear that gas mileage and seating capacity were only two of a complex set of variables.  Ten years after that Berard helped an entrenched global technology company reveal its nimble side to a market enamored of e.commerce.  Ten years after that he led a company aiming to make online advertising more meaningful by embracing privacy, not running from it.


Beginning with Carl Byoir & Associates in Washington, D.C., John has integrated an understanding of three essential elements that guide effective corporate communications.  At Byoir and then at Gray & Company in the Nation’s Capital, he worked on the link between legislation and reputation.  In New York, at Hill and Knowlton, he added an understanding of finance and corporate communications.  And, since 1996 in San Francisco, where John ran West Coast offices and operations for three public relations agencies.  Fleishman-Hillard, FitzGerald Communications and Zeno Group, he has added a deep understanding of how technology moves markets.

John practices one essential aspect of counsel he promotes to clients:  It is important to be a participant in the communities you serve.  He was a communications advisor to the San Francisco Food Bank for four years before serving two terms on the board, where he was part of the effort to help develop a “consumer” brand to elevate public awareness and provide a stronger profile for giving. He is currently a member of the board of The Market Street Railway, the private support organization for historic street cars in San Francisco.


It is equally important to be a part of the discussion of industry issues, too. In 2010, he was elected to the policy-setting General Names Supporting Organization Council inside ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  He is a member of the Business Constituency of that organization.

In 1997, he was a founding member of the board of TRUSTe, the online privacy rights group.  He served on the board until the end of 2004.  More recently, John was a member of the board of the IAPP, the International Association of Privacy Professionals.  He remains a member of the organization for corporate and governmental professionals engaged in privacy.

William Bennett


Bill Bennett has devoted 30 years to developing creative solutions to the strategic marketing and communications challenges faced by organizations as diverse as Levi Strauss & Co., Toshiba, The Smithsonian Institution, Bell Atlantic, Hewlett Packard and Business 2.0. From market research and segmentation to channel strategies, from business plan development and employee motivation to investor relations, Bill has tracked the changing rules of the game and helped his clients plot a course up and to the right.



Bill began his career as a freelance journalist, joining the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings in 1978 for a string of productions that would net multiple Grammy awards and nominations and nearly $20 million in revenue. The segmentation effort he led for IDeA (Information Design Associates), the firm he co-founded in 1995, guided the sales team at Business 2.0 to the most successful launch to that time in magazine publishing history. He was a founding member of the tech start-ups Steeplechase Networks, Chekpoints, and Earodrome, premised on the growing importance of the edge of the network and the social interactions at the edge that more and more drive market conversations. Most recently, as Executive Director of the not-for-profit Patient-Physician Alliance, he worked to bridge the gap between policy innovation and the reality of health care at the community level.



He was a founding member of the Telecommunications and Information Group at Gray and Company in Washington, D.C. before migrating to Silicon Valley to lead financial and marketing communications programs at Convergent Technologies and Hewlett Packard. Returning to the agency world, he managed the Silicon Valley office of Hill and Knowlton and became Directory of that global agency’s Technology Practice. He was a senior vice president for market strategies in Ruder Finn’s technology practice at the turn of the century.

Gerard Corbett


Gerard Corbett has four decades of experience in technology, corporate communications and public relations.Corbett has managed the corporate communications function in both public and private companies, in business-to-consumer and business- to-business environments and in a range of industries from aerospace and computers to defense and science.He has worked closely with some 17 CEOs, whose backgrounds have spanned finance, engineering, marketing and law.


Corbett is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Redphlag LLC, a strategic public relations, marketing management and executive coaching consulting firm, a position he held since January 2008. Corbett also serves as Chief Marketing Officer of Producers Forum, Inc., a real estate web start up in Palo, Alto, CA; is an Adjunct Professor in Public Relations at San Jose State University; and blogs extensively on career management in the PR field for his own blog and for TalentZoo.com, CareerThoughtleaders.com and HireCentrix.com. He also serves as Immediate Past Chair & CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA,) the world’s largest member organization of public relations practitioners.He is accredited in public relations (APR) and a member of the PRSA College of Fellows.


Prior to Redphlag, Corbett was vice president for 13 years of the Branding and Corporate Communications Group and general manager of Web Strategy Center of Hitachi, Ltd., a $100 billion Tokyo based technology company.He previously served several other leading Fortune 200 firms, including Loral Corporation, ASARCO Incorporated, Gould Inc. and International Harvester Company.He also was program manager and senior account executive with the public relations firm of Creamer Dickson Basford in Providence, RI.He launched his career in Silicon Valley as a scientific programmer at the NASA Ames Research Center.A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Corbett has a B.A. in public relations from San Jose State University and an A.A. with a major in electronics engineering from the Community College of Philadelphia.


In addition to his role in PRSA, Mr. Corbett is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; a member of the board and past president of the International Advertising Association/West; and a member of the Arthur Page Society, National Investor Relations Institute, National Association of Science Writers, San Francisco PR Roundtable, New York PR Society, International Coaching Federation and Kappa Tau Alpha, the National Journalism Honor Society.He also is Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of Kids’ Turn, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization focused on families in transition.

Pam Miracle

Pam Miracle is a global communications and public relations expert and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her communications leadership spans more than 20 years in international communications and public relations with direct work experience in the United States, Europe and Asia. She has expertise in creating internal and external communications programs that effectively bridge cultural and geographical boundaries and in developing and managing multi-cultural teams.
Pam is experienced in all key aspects of internal and external communications and public relations, including press relations, integrated program and strategic message development, image and brand management, issues and crisis management, analyst and influencer relations, social media and online initiatives, executive communications, events, vendor management. She also has a background in senior management expertise within both agencies and corporations and in a broad range of companies, from entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations, with industry experience in both B2B and B2C. She is a trusted communications advisor to international C-level executives with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Specialties: International communications, cross-cultural team management, integrated global communications plans, strategic message development and positioning, media relations, analyst relations, thought leadership, executive communications, influencer and stakeholder marketing, internal communications and events.

Bob Wynne


Bob Wynne is a proven leader with more than 15 years experience and professional achievement in global communications management including:

  • Real time executive counsel
  • Crisis management
  • Strategy analysis
  • Content development
  • M&A announcement support
  • Corporate messaging
  • Brand management
  • Technology and consumer product launches
  • PR program development and execution
  • ROI measurement


Mr. Wynne has worked for or advised a variety of Fortune 500 financial services and technology firms in a variety of roles.  Among them:

  • Oracle– Directed global communications throughout Oracle’s $40 billion acquisition drive which saw the company’s revenues, product offerings and number of employees more than double.

  • Bank of America– Managed communications through the then-largest merger and integration in U.S. banking history when Bank of America was acquired by NationsBank.  This effort included managing communications for the largest brand identity change in banking history.

  • Starbucks– Directed and managed the innovative Grants for Giving program that still serves as the foundation for Starbuck Coffee’s multi-million dollar philanthropic initiative.

  • Strategic Communications - Developed and announced globally one of the nation’s first domestic partner insurance programs as well as one of the nation’s most inclusive and unique employee stock option programs.


    Prior to entering public relations, Mr. Wynne was an award-winning senior editor and reporter for more than 10 years working for a variety of newspaper groups, including the Alameda Newspaper Group in the San Francisco Bay Area and McClatchy Newspapers, which owns publications in several states, including California, Washington and Alaska.


    Mr. Wynne is a graduate of the University of Washington and is a member of several professional organizations including The PR Seminar and the Arthur Page Society.