Dougherty Dialectic


The job of the modern executive, increasingly, is advocacy. Business leaders must through their written and spoken communications deliver messages that can be easily understood, accepted and spur audiences to action.

That’s where we come in.

We are communications strategists who for more than two decades have been helping Fortune 500 clients formulate and communicate their “story” to customers and prospects, investors, news media, employees, business partners, regulators, elected officials, judges, and jurors. 

Practice Areas 


We are the bridge between corporations and the audiences executives must persuade.  Boutique writing services include:

  • Helping established businesses and startups formulate their corporate and brand stories for optimal market positioning.

  • Writing speeches for CEOs and top executives—from nuts-and-bolts business updates, to “rally the troops” speeches, to inspirational addresses.

  • Ghost-writing newspaper Op-Ed pieces, executive “guest columns” for trade publications, and other thought leadership content.

  • Writing annual reports, corporate social responsibility reports, marketing case studies, legal case studies, economic impact reports, and white papers.

  • Crafting new or refreshed company narratives.

  • Writing blog posts, web, and social media content.

  • “Translating” complex legal, scientific and technological concepts into plain language non-specialist audiences can understand.

  • Authoring books—from CEO memoirs to glossy, coffee table-style corporate histories.

  • Framing legally-, socially-, and politically-combustible issues to advance your side of the story.

  • Preparing testimony and concomitant collateral materials for legislative and regulatory audiences.

  • Writing and producing videos for H.R., Legal, Compliance, Marketing, Government Relations and Corporate Communications purposes.

  • Enhancing the writing skills of individuals and teams.

Speech Writing

Speech writing is a core service of the firm. We specialize in keynote speeches for elected officials, Fortune 500 CEOs and top execs, heads of Washington-based trade associations and nonprofit leaders.

The firm’s speech writing capabilities received a strong 3rd party endorsement in 2017, and again in 2018, when the publishers of Vital Speeches of the Day magazine awarded Jack Dougherty a “Cicero Award,” speech writing’s highest honor, for what was judged to be the best speech given in 2016 on Corporate Social Responsibility issues and the best speech given in 2017 on News Media issues, respectively.  (Click here to see the winning 2016 speech, written for PepsiCo Vice Chairman Dr. Mehmood Khan.  Scroll to p.25. Click here to see the winning 2017 speech, written for Susan Goldberg, Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners and Editor in Chief of National Geographic Magazine. [Scroll to p.17.])

Below is a list of former and current speech writing clients:

Editor in Chief & Editorial Director, National Geographic Magazine/ National Geographic Partners

Board Chair, Society for Human Resource Management

Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Global R&D, PepsiCo.

VP, R&D, Quaker Foods North America, PepsiCo.

Chairman and CEO, General Electric

Chief Marketing Officer, General Electric

VP, Corporate Communications, General Electric

Global Executive Director of Advertising and Branding, General Electric

Chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America

President, North America, William Wrigley Jr. Co.

Chairman and CEO, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

President, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

EVP, Corporate Communications and Marketing, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

Chief Communications Officer, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

Chief Marketing Officer, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

VP, Sales Development and Community Affairs, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

VP Corporate Communications, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

General Counsel, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

VP, Consumer Affairs, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

President, US-India Business Council Chairman and CEO, Washington Mutual, Inc.

President, Americas Division, Hilton Hotels & Resorts

CEO, Gap Inc

Headquarters Employee Relations Manager, The Coca-Cola Company

President, National Federation of Independent Business


Democratic and Republican Members, Missouri House of Representatives

Chairman of the Washington DC region, and Head of Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

SVP, General Manager – North America, INVACARE

Senior Vice President, R&D, Global Snacks Category, PepsiCo

Senior Vice President, R&D, Global Nutrition, PepsiCo

Senior Vice President, Global Technical Center of Excellence for Dairy & Chocolate, PepsiCo

Media Strategy

Dougherty Dialectic helps clients understand the news media’s values, content needs, and expectations.  We help clients formulate dramatic story lines and identify newsworthy story elements irresistible to reporters.

The firm's media relations experts have helped Fortune 500 corporations, law firms, and startups generate positive news coverage in hundreds of media outlets.  Among them: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek, Business Week, CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, Canal +, FOX, CNN, and various local and digital media outlets.

Ask us to show you the op-ed pieces and front page story placements we engineered in the Washington Post, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Crisis Communications & Litigation Support

Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Corporate Communications VPs, General Counsels and leading corporate law firms, we help companies calm and appease stakeholders in the aftermath of crises.  We also help clients defend themselves in the court of public opinion when legal actions and concomitant media assaults are engineered by Attorneys Generals, Justice Department officials, and plaintiff’s lawyers.  We have deep expertise in the following areas:

  • Delivering crisis communications training and preparedness workshops.

  • Helping clients formulate crisis plans.

  • Providing immediate counsel in the aftermath of a crisis.

  • Formulating and implementing crisis and legal media relations strategies.

  • Providing media training to spokespeople.

  • “Translating” complex legal concepts for lay audiences.

  • Working with market research firms and jury consultants to test messaging efficacy.

  • Drafting internal and external communications pegged to crisis and litigation issues.

  • Creating and developing content for public and/or proprietary journalists’ websites pegged to crisis and litigation issues.

  • Creating infographics for exhibition on websites, in media, and in courtrooms.  
Click here to see a Dougherty-authored Op-Ed piece on litigation support best practices.

Training Services

  • The firm’s News Media Communications Skills Seminar® teaches CEOs, top executives and political aspirants to talk passionately and credibly about their products and positions. More than 500 people have been trained, many for high-stakes interviews with media outlets such as the NYT, WSJ, NBC “Dateline” and CBS "60 Minutes." (References and testimonials available.)

  • Our presentation skills training seminar, The Science of Leadership Communications®, teaches business people to communicate with confidence and impact, increase influence, convert skeptics, project credibility and spur others to action. This workshop has been delivered to corporations, business school students, PR practitioners and others, and was developed at the request of the General Electric Company, which invited us to instruct this course to up-and-coming leaders at the company's famed management-development center in Crotonville, NY. In their evaluations GE managers used words like “fantastic” and “incredible” to describe the seminar.  View excerpts here (References and testimonials available.)

  • Whether it is due to pressure to become more transparent or a determination to “join the conversation,” today most large corporations have adopted a “You Can’t Communicate Too Much” strategy—and it does not appear this communications approach will be abandoned anytime soon.  Unfortunately, as we discovered in a recent survey of top P.R. people, the urgent desire for writers to communicate too often overshadows readers’ desire that a writer should have something useful to say.  But writers can and will craft better content if they are sufficiently mentored and trained.  For this reason, we created our writing seminar, WordCamp®.  The seminar teaches corporate writers how to “think story,” develop relevant content, master pacing, progression and construction, and “sell” with every sentence. (References and testimonials available.)

  • BootstrapsPR®, our seminar for small companies with nascent PR functions, teaches participants how to formulate PR plans, build execution calendars, and secure publicity for products, executives and companies.

The Company We Keep

Below are just some of the current and former clients we've worked with.


Jack Dougherty, the founder of Dougherty Dialectic, has for more than 20 years worked at the intersection of business, politics, news media and advocacy. Either as an in-house employee or consultant, he has counseled top executives at many of the world's most admired companies, among them:  Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Capital One, Darden Restaurants, GAP Inc., GE, Google, McDonalds, Motorola, Nike, Pfizer, the US Chamber of Commerce, Washington Mutual and the Wm. J. Wrigley Company.  His tech-sector clients have included startup social media companies, software security companies, digital entertainment purveyors, and online retailers.   Jack is also an author and instructs courses on communications at the University of Virginia.

Victoria Dougherty has for nearly 20 years distinguished herself as a writer and master storyteller. She has written, translated, and produced television news segments, theatrical plays and video scripts. She has ghost-written articles, speeches and testimony for Fortune 500 executives. Her journalism and essays have been published in the Chicago Tribune, the Prague Post, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times. She is also the author of a novel, The Bone Church, a collection of short stories, Welcome to the Hotel Yalta, and Cold, a collection of essays.


Jack Dougherty is co-author of Most Likely to Succeed at Work (St. Martin's Press), a business book about workplace communications and personal reputation management. Published in the US, Canada, the UK and Taiwan, this popular book has been praised by critics, including Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Hartford Courant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Dallas Morning News, to name a few.   Dougherty has also been interviewed about the book on CBS radio, Channel One, NPR, CNBC, W-B Network, and FOX News’ “The O'Reilly Factor.” 



We have worked with, and earned the trust of, executives from many of the world’s most respected organizations.


  • Professional Speechwriters Association
  • Gotham Ghostwriters
  • C-Suite Communicators
  • CIPR Corporate + Financial Group
  • Communication Professionals
  • Corporate Communication
  • Corporate Communication Centre
  • Corporate Communications & Reputation
  • Corporate Communications Network
  • Crisis Communication, Internal Communication
  • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
  • International Public Relations & Communications Group
  • IPRA - International Public Relations Association
  • Issues Management Professionals 
  • National Summit on Strategic Communications
  • Online Reputation Management (ORM)
  • Network of PR Professionals
  • Public Relations and Communications Professionals
  • Public Relations Society of America
  • Corporate and Media professionals from around the world
  • Quintilian - Speechwriters Group
  • Reputation Institute
  • SMCC - Social Media in a Corporate Context
  • Special Public Communications Group
  • U.S. Government Relations & Public Affairs
  • Washington Speechwriters Roundtable


Jack Dougherty
President, Dougherty Dialectic, LLC
One Ivy Depot Lane
PO Box 519
Ivy, Virginia 22945
434.979.3703 (o)
434.409.2487 (m)

Victoria Dougherty
Vice President, Dougherty Dialectic, LLC
One Ivy Depot Lane
PO Box 519
Ivy, Virginia 22945
434.979.3703 (o)
434.409.2589 (m)