Over more than three decades Chris Talley has led communication programs, provided counsel, crisis communications strategies and delivered results from the front row of business, culminating in his role as a FORTUNE 100 chief communications officer. Through the years he has led teams at or in support of iconic brands including USAA, AT&T, Chevron, ConocoPhillps and Lockheed Martin.
Most recently, Chris was chief communications officer and SVP of Corporate Communications for USAA, one of America’s leading financial services companies. Today, he leads Talley Communication Strategies, volunteers and devotes time speaking to and guiding college students seeking careers in communications.
At USAA, Chris was responsible for all communications, leading strategy, reputation management, crisis planning and outreach and engagement with employees and external stakeholders. From 2015 through 2019, he also oversaw communications for the CEO, including messaging and interactions with all audiences, from regulators to the boards of directors.
Previously, Chris led the re-launch of USAA’s brand, focused on look, feel, sound and performance. Other responsibilities featured leading multi-channel content programs anchored by a digital media production center. Also he managed employee / culture communications and the external communications teams, which included reputation / crisis management, media relations, social, public affairs and advocacy initiatives.
Chris joined USAA in 2008 from FleishmanHillard (FH). During 13 years at FH, he planned, managed and executed numerous programs, including M&A activity, for a range of FORTUNE 500 clients. Half of his FH service included time embedded with clients. Rising to senior partner and senior vice president, Chris served as general manager of three separate FH offices, Austin, Houston and San Antonio. He joined FH from Churchill Group and before spent five years in public affairs at Lockheed Martin in Denver.
Chris earned a journalism degree from Baylor University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is a frequent guest speaker at colleges across the country. He is a trustee for the Institute for Public Relations and a member of Page, the world’s leading association for senior communicators. He serves on the boards of the Hemisfair Conservancy, San Antonio Medical Foundation, Alamo Area Council (Boy Scouts) and Endeavors, along with the Baylor Journalism, PR & New Media advisory board. Previous San Antonio board service includes KRLN-TV (PBS) and Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children.
Chris and Laura Talley have been married for more than 30 years and are proud parents of three adult children.