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Monday, June 24, 2024

Cultivate Your Garden

After 35 years in strategic and crisis communications, I wanted to give something back.  I invited a colleague, Rebecca Kuperberg to join me.  Together, we wrote and published Cultivate Your Garden:  Crisis Communications from 30,000 Feet to Three Feet, available on Amazon.   

The purpose of this book is to empower emergency management professionals and strategic communicators at all levels to cultivate their own gardens before, during, and after a crisis. We have all been through a crisis or two. The next one could occur tomorrow.

This book is different. The soil is fresh. Each chapter shares unique content but with consistent attributes. Each chapter begins with a quote or two. These quotes prompt reflection on the bigger concepts at play. Each chapter also begins with a photograph. In Chapter 10 readers are encouraged to caption each one. Along the way, in every chapter, you can interpret the relationship between the text and chosen imagery. And every chapter weaves in anecdotes, experiences and stories. Whether you consume information textually, visually, or experientially, they are all here for you.

Once we have whetted your appetite, each chapter provides a strategic overview. The strategic level is often referred to as a 30,000-foot view. This term comes from the approximate cruising altitude of commercial airliners. Visual learners can imagine what that view looks like. Strategy is important. It is essential. But strategy is not the complete story.

So, in this book, in addition to the strategic insights, each chapter also includes more operational and tactical pointers – the view from three feet. They will help to quickly transform those strategies into action at work, today and tomorrow. As C.S. Lewis realized, “A glimpse is not a vision. But to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon.” 

Finally, this book combines the diverse experiences and perspectives of an older man and a younger woman from different backgrounds but similar dedication. 

About the Author 

Dan Stoneking has been a soldier, a teacher, a corporate public relations vice president, and a small business owner. He is currently the Owner and Principal at Stoneking Strategic Communications LLC (SSC).  Dan is also the Founder and Vice President of the Emergency Management External Affairs Association (EMEAA), which will be formally launched this Spring.  He has extensive experience in leadership counsel, risk/crisis communications, media relations, media training, strategic messaging, branding, public-private partnerships and reputation management. 

Dan continues to write on his platform, Stoneking’s Crisis Crib Notes Editorials, at https://crisiscribnotes.substack.com/ .  You can learn more about Dan’s vision, philosophy, qualifications, programs and services at his SSC website, www.danstoneking.com  

Dan retired from a formal, structured workforce in 2023 and is living life on his terms. He lives in West Chester, PA with his two daughters, Ivy Grace and Chloe Lane. 

About the Co-Author 

Rebecca Kuperberg was born and raised in Southern California. She received her B.A. from Haverford College, outside of Philadelphia, and took courses in fifteen different disciplines. She credits her liberal arts background for being able to make unexpected connections.  

After college, she worked with domestic violence survivors before becoming a college admissions officer. She decided to go back to school and was, to her surprise, admitted to the University of Oxford. There, she met her now-husband and received her master’s degree in international relations. Not ready to stop doing research, she came back to the East Coast to complete a PhD in Women and Politics at Rutgers University. She was an election observer, spoke at the United Nations, interviewed politicians, and taught classes in English and political science.  

After her PhD, on a whim, she applied for a job in emergency management. Dan was leading the division. It was because of her interview with Dan that she took the job.  

Rebecca lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. In her spare time–limited with two small children–she likes to travel and cook. And she still loves to learn.  

author avatar
Dan Stoneking
Dan is a strategic communicator. He is a writer. His expertise is born from experience, to include his role at the Pentagon upon the attacks of 9/11; as lead spokesperson for the National Guard in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina where he represented 54 states and territories; responding to the earthquake in Haiti where he helped establish the first-ever international joint information center; creating a coalition with the private sector to implement the first-ever National Business Emergency Operation Center; voluntarily deploying to Puerto Rico within hours of Hurricane Maria’s impact as the lead spokesperson, and much more. Presently, Dan is the Owner and Principal at Stoneking Strategic Communications, LLC. Previously, Dan served as the External Affairs Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 3, where he led an award-earning passionate team to improve information sharing and coordination between FEMA and the American public, to include media, private sector, as well as local, state and government officials during disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts. As Director, he led his team through countless disasters, the Papal Visit (2015), the Democratic National Convention (2016), and the response to the Jan 6, 2021, attacks on our Nation’s Capital. That position followed and built upon a career in both the corporate and government arenas focused on strategic and crisis communications, to include roles at FEMA Headquarters as Director, Private Sector and Deputy and Acting Director of Public Affairs. Graduating from the University of New Hampshire, with a Bachelor’s in Interpersonal Communications, he later returned to the same campus and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching (Secondary English). Dan is a retired Army Officer and he taught High School English for two years. He is also the author of Cultivate Your Garden: Crisis Communications from 30,000 Feet to Three Feet, 2024. Dan lives in West Chester, PA with his daughters, Ivy Grace and Chloe Lane and their puppy, Fiji Isabella.
Dan Stoneking
Dan Stoneking
Dan is a strategic communicator. He is a writer. His expertise is born from experience, to include his role at the Pentagon upon the attacks of 9/11; as lead spokesperson for the National Guard in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina where he represented 54 states and territories; responding to the earthquake in Haiti where he helped establish the first-ever international joint information center; creating a coalition with the private sector to implement the first-ever National Business Emergency Operation Center; voluntarily deploying to Puerto Rico within hours of Hurricane Maria’s impact as the lead spokesperson, and much more. Presently, Dan is the Owner and Principal at Stoneking Strategic Communications, LLC. Previously, Dan served as the External Affairs Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 3, where he led an award-earning passionate team to improve information sharing and coordination between FEMA and the American public, to include media, private sector, as well as local, state and government officials during disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts. As Director, he led his team through countless disasters, the Papal Visit (2015), the Democratic National Convention (2016), and the response to the Jan 6, 2021, attacks on our Nation’s Capital. That position followed and built upon a career in both the corporate and government arenas focused on strategic and crisis communications, to include roles at FEMA Headquarters as Director, Private Sector and Deputy and Acting Director of Public Affairs. Graduating from the University of New Hampshire, with a Bachelor’s in Interpersonal Communications, he later returned to the same campus and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching (Secondary English). Dan is a retired Army Officer and he taught High School English for two years. He is also the author of Cultivate Your Garden: Crisis Communications from 30,000 Feet to Three Feet, 2024. Dan lives in West Chester, PA with his daughters, Ivy Grace and Chloe Lane and their puppy, Fiji Isabella.

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