“This is not your black employees’ problem to fix for you.” Dive in as Dave Karraker, President at Raptor Communications reveals guidelines businesses can use to decide if and when to insert their brand’s narrative into today’s crises. With deep roots in Communications, including 12 years under his belt at Campari, Dave discusses the death of traditional PR and the birth of brand storytelling designed to exist in different communication environments. 

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Booze, video games, and retail weave their way into Dave’s background as he summarizes his work as the Head of PR or Communications with various brands such as Sega, Skyy Vodka, and Martha Stewart. Dave walks you through uncovering all the nuggets needed to build a story that no one else is telling and how to manage crises. Today, Dave is engrossed in helping companies navigate through the current climate and yet he still finds time to enjoy managing his Oops I’m Gay t-shirt store on Etsy

In this episode, Dave identifies his core beliefs about the difference between traditional PR and brand storytelling. While identifying best practices businesses can implement to stand out from their competitors, Dave explains how to become your own Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes to determine if your business can be inserted into today’s biggest stories such as #BlackLivesMatter. 

Do you know what your consumers are expecting of you? Listen in as Dave tackles ways to identify when is the right time to speak and if you have the right resources. Dave provides insight on how to evaluate if your consumers and employees expect you to insert your brand into the narrative and if your values are strong enough to direct your actions during a crisis. Dave shows why this is important as he speaks about the “Millennial Cohort” and how they rank companies by their purpose and values.

Dave’s foresight into the reassurances employees need from those though who are taking the lead strengthens the importance of strong company values. Looking at a brand through the lens of a human being, Dave identifies ways to imagine how your company should feel, react, and speak. Dave also outlines ways to assess risk and find proof points of your company’s values.

Later, Dave addresses brand authenticity, how he’s managed his company through the COVID-19 pandemic, and good and bad examples of brands who have spoken out during different crises. Tune in as Dave provides use cases of companies who clapped back at angry people on the internet while others were silent as the internet took a stand for them. 

In this Episode:

  • Oops I’m Gay Store – Ironic T-shirts For Our Times (1:07)
  • Dave’s background in communications  (3:33)
  • What’s the real role of communications and PR? (7:13)
  • Raptors, diving into the story of what the brand is telling (8:28)
  • What your consumers are expecting of you (15:00)
  • How should small businesses handle the #BLM movement?  (18:26)
  • Purpose and the millennial audience (22:54)
  • True leaders who absorb and fix problems personally (28:20)
  • The Evolution of a Diversity Officer (29:43)
  • Jim Beam’s narrative during #BlackLivesMatter (37:30)
  • Small business owners assessing risk (44:06)


  • “Ironic gay-themed t-shirts, that’s where I’m going to make all my money.”
  • “We’re gonna find that one story no one is telling.”
  • “That’s not a value, that’s fake.”
  • “We are them and they are us.”
  • “The majority of the internet is the vocal minority.”
  • “The angriest people on the internet aren’t your customers.”

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