Expert Details

Expert in Public Relations and Government Relations

Expert ID: 727395 Canada

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Expert is Principal and Chief Magnifier of his consulting company. He is the driving force behind its success. He is an experienced event planner, public and media relations expert. He is able to call upon close to thirteen years of experience in these fields. With thorough research skills, his broad experience in government, the private sector, and in the association world have allowed him to take complex issues and communicate them to media and stakeholders alike. His accomplishments include doubling and tripling attendance for annual events for two of his association clients, laying the groundwork for new sponsors to a growing association, and building government advocacy capacity of various non-profits.

Expert conducts communication audits to ensure the messages organizations wish to convey are in tune with their internal structures and present stock of materials. Fully trilingual (Spanish, French & English), Expert has written for various commercial websites, trade journals and newsletters. He has been sought out to develop eye-catching sales copy and news articles. His successes have included coverage for clients on Fox Morning News, Bloomberg Business Newswire, the Atlantic Business Journal, Macleans Magazine, CTV and the Toronto Star to name just a few. His work with trade publications made the Canadian Construction Association a regularly quoted source for information on the industry.

Involved in his community, Expert has sat on community health boards, political campaigns, and was heavily involved in philanthropic efforts in his university years. All of this gave him an exceptional ability in community-based fundraising. A consummate follower of current affairs, Expert has trained a variety of clients in the private and non-profit sector on using the media to build promotion and publicity campaigns. He has also acted as a publicist to various authors and speakers.

A graduate of both the Government Relations Institute of Canada and of Political Science at the University of Ottawa, Expert lead the way for research into public policy issues at the Canadian Hydropower Association into Natural Resource and Energy issues. His experience on Parliament Hill also gives him a unique ability to draft policy papers on a wide range of issues.

Expert is a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and a certified APR professional.

Social Media Positioning
Experience in Social Media and Online Promotion for Non-Profits

Expert's company has been recognized by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) for online promotion of associations and non-profits. Expert is a published author on social media in their journal and invited speaker to their annual conference. In the fall of 2009, “Social Media for Non-Profits and Associations” will be published with Expert as the co-author.

Charitable organizations such as the Success Factory Employment Centre have benefited from leveraging Expert’s experience to grow followers and supporters through blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Expert continues to use this experience to successfully grow his online following of supporters to his profiles as well. Arthur Childs Heritage Museum
Training Museum Executives for Media Relations Success

The Arthur Childs Museum provides visitors to the 1000 Islands region with an inviting setting to reflect on the history of the area. The organization identified key areas of growth to promote the treasures and the value the museum holds.  Although the desire to build an extensive communication plan was deterred by tight fiscal restraints, the board remained committed to developing a communications campaign.
Focusing on media training, Action Strategies trained the Executive Director to speak directly with the media. This resulted in a full page article in the Kingston Whig-Standard. This coverage had previously eluded the organization for years.Special Olympics Ontario & the Education Quality Accountability Office
Media Relations Leadership

Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) is a community-based program that organizes competitions for athletes with intellectual difficulties. SOO leadership determined their current way of communicating to key stake holders was sporadic. During its annual September event, the "World’s Largest Truck Convoy" it became evident their communications plan was ineffective. Media coverage was limited to local reach, missing its intended target of provincial-wide coverage.

Expert determined that a media relations training program was required to reach their desired audience. His needs assessment determined a public relations and training program was required for audience reach. Integrating the media training techniques provided by Expert, media coverage was gained on national television networks and on Toronto’s leading news talk radio network garnering media coverage previously denied Special Olympics.

In a posting with Ontario’s Education Accountability Office, Expert succeeded in placing 85% of the articles pitched to the francophone media in Ontario. Media coverage occurred within the first two weeks of his assignment. Canadian Construction Association (CCA)
Bringing a marketing paradigm shift within the association sector

The voice of Canada's largest industry, representing interests of the non-residential sector of an industry that employs over 1 million Canadians, CCA speaks to the federal government and the public on a wide range of issues.

Facing a chronic labour shortage within 10 years, the industry was very receptive of the need to conduct ongoing marketing and communications efforts to Canadian women and youth to consider careers in the trades. However, CCA had a number of competing marketing programs, all with different brands. Various participants in the organization were also reluctant to cede the brand they had developed for their programs in favor of an overall CCA trademark.

As the Director of External Communications, Expert was charged with coordinating a special task force to examine the situation. After intensively reviewing the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, a two year marketing communications plan was developed demonstrating the case for a common brand.
As a result of the audit and review, the association’s brochure was distributed through government networks to the country’s guidance counsellors and media coverage included articles in the Atlantic Business Journal, Maclean’s Magazine, and the Toronto Star. Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) Success with convincing corporations to engage in an association’s cause & coordinate stakeholders The Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) is the national association dedicated to representing the interests of the hydropower industry. Its principal mandate is to promote hydropower nationally and internationally as a source of renewable energy. Starting in this role as the Manager of Public Affairs, Expert was charged with investigating the viability of increasing the association membership of firms working in and serving the industry. With a large portion of Canada’s hydro-electric corporations already members of CHA, there was skepticism about the possibility of convincing the remaining corporate executives of the value of CHA membership. As a result of the audit and review, Expert went on to convince two new companies to join the association within a six month period. Later in this role, the relationships he built between first nations peoples, Fisheries and Oceans officials, and industry meant improved dialogue and greater message penetration for the CHA. As a strategic relationship builder with sponsors, government and partners, Expert coordinated the first ever coalition of renewable energy associations between the Canadian Hydropower Association, the Canadian Solar Industries Association, and the Canadian Wind Energy Association. These successes were the result of implementing his awareness and outreach plan.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1997 Degree: BA Subject: Political Science Institution: University of Ottawa

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2001 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Principal & Chief Magnifier Department: Responsibilities: Full service International Public Relations, Government Relations, and Marketing Communications

Example list of clients and projects include:
Canadian Paralympic Committee, Ontario’s Education Quality Accountability Office, Ontario Special Olympics Committee, NAIMA Canada, Flowers for Kids, Estate Therapy Inc., Colby Properties Ltd., Canadian Academies of Science, and National Research Council.
Media Relations: Managed relations with the press for multiple clients. Developed media lists and pitched story ideas to TV, Radio, and Print publications throughout North America. Result: Coverage included Fox Morning News, Macleans Magazine, the Toronto Sun, CFRA (Ottawa), and CJAD (Montreal) Radio.
Government Relations: Managed grassroots advocacy campaigns, researched policy initiatives, and lobbied federal and provincial governments for infrastructure funding and policy changes for multiple clients. Result: In one case, he achieved over $30,000 in previously refused infrastructure funding for a municipal client.
Project Management: Managed multiple clients and marketing projects to develop a profitable business. He developed a marketing, networking and publicity plan to make his expertise known in his target markets. Result: A profitable consulting business was created with clients ranging from Canada, the UK, Malaysia, and the United States.
Presentations and speeches: Wrote and delivered speeches and presentations for the advancement of the business. He delivered presentations before reputable organizations such as the Canadian Society of Association Executives, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Marketing Association. He also developed presentations to pitch new business. Result: His speaking engagements increased the number of prospects for the business and his presentation skills delivered over $80,000 in new business in one case alone.

Public Relations: Developed publicity and credibility development campaigns for a number of clients. He leveraged positive press coverage, Internet public relations and organized events to expose the under appreciated talents and value of clients. Result: he found creative means for clients to save thousands of dollars in advertizing.
Marketing: Developed marketing and public relations plans for numerous clients. He researched and identified the appropriate messages and tactics to develop a unique plan template. Result: He developed plans that in three client instances alone laid the groundwork for solid market penetration and publicity.
Years: 2003 to 2005 Employer: Canadian Construction Association Title: Director, External Communications Department: Responsibilities: Recruited to service the Quebec membership base. Developed strategic communications and government relations services to reach out to legislators, Canadian youth and women, as well as to the national media.

Problem solving: Identified sources of difficulty where the CCA brand was not penetrating or being identified with targeted publics. I initiated a widespread consultation process with the national press gallery and with the members of the association. I led a committee team of 5 in reviewing the brand standards of the association. Result: CCA is now equipped with a brand standard policy and has revised its promotional materials that have nationwide reach.

Campaigning: Managed and developed membership-driven advocacy campaign leading up to the 2004 federal election. I managed the development of a special election watch website geared to grassroots members and the national press gallery. Result: Member associations were equipped to organize town hall debates in small towns throughout Canada and media coverage was widespread ranging from small town newspapers to Macleans Magazine after the election.

Government Relations: Coordinated various advocacy campaigns. I identified stakeholders and government officials who could assist in gaining policy advances for the construction industry. Result: High-level presentations were secured with government decision makers bringing awareness of the industry’s concerns.

Event planning: Coordinated an annual lobbying event on Parliament Hill. I lead a coalition of seven associations towards building government awareness for the need for more infrastructure investment. I coordinated the logistics of invitations and marketing of the event as well as the development of the theme. Result: Attendance at the annual event was more than tripled from over the previous year gaining acclaim from stakeholders and government officials.

Team building: Coordinated an annual lobbying event on Parliament Hill. I lead a coalition of seven associations towards building government awareness for the need for more infrastructure investment. I coordinated the logistics of invitations and marketing of the event as well as the development of the theme. Result: Attendance at the annual event was more than tripled from over the previous year gaining acclaim from stakeholders and government officials.

Media Relations: Lead the development of one of the first intensive media relations campaigns to place the industry’s prominence in the same light as similar sized Canadian industries. I undertook an intensive consultation process with the national press gallery and changed the association’s messaging to meet the gallery’s expectations. Result: Press coverage was attained in twice in Macleans Magazine, the Atlantic Business Journal, the Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, and CBC Business.
Years: 2003 to 2003 Employer: Canadian Hydropower Association Title: Public Affairs Manager Department: Responsibilities: CHA is the national trade association dedicated to representing the interests of the hydropower industry. CHA members represent more than 95% of the hydropower capacity in Canada.

Recruited to organize the Annual General Meeting and Forum on Hydropower as well increase attendance. Charged with coalition building as well as government relations assistance.

Leadership and Team Building: Implemented organization's first ever NGO outreach program and advanced industry's agenda with parliamentarians. By reaching out and networking with renewable energy associations, environmental and aboriginal stakeholder groups, the objective was to build appreciation for the capacity of hydropower as a green energy source. Result: The coordination of the first meeting of solar, wind and hydro energy associations took place.

Government Relations: Lobbied federal government to present the case of hydropower offering the solution to reaching Kyoto Accord targets. A strategic plan was developed to identify parliamentarians with significant hydropower resources in their riding. Outreach efforts were then undertaken to educate them on this presence. Result: I achieved presentations before cabinet ministers, MPs & civil servants.

Public Relations and Marketing: Lead membership retention and recruitment from amongst the hydroelectric industry. I developed an internal electronic newsletter that was monthly in nature. In addition, I took the time to network with association members and those company executives who were not already members. Result: The adherence of two new corporate members.
Years: 1998 to 2003 Employer: Office of Jason Kenney, Member of Parliament Title: Executive & Legislative Assistant Department: Responsibilities: First elected to Parliament in 1997, Jason Kenney served as the Official Opposition Critic for National Revenue, then as the Official Opposition Critic for Finance and later as the Critic for Canada-US Relations. He now serves as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Recruited first as a Junior Legislative Assistant, the expert later advanced to Executive Assistant handling correspondence, managing staff and volunteers, and various legislative and campaign projects.

Media Relations: Organized successful media campaigns that resulted in national exposure and also handled challenging and hostile media inquiries during 2001 leadership crisis. he crafted well-written media releases and press kits. Under media pressure and in crisis communication situations, he maintained a cool demeanour and stayed on message. Result: Jason Kenney remained one of the most quoted MPs in Ottawa and during the leadership crisis; the expert was able to limit negative media coverage and exposure.

Leadership: Responsible for office budget of $250,000 and oversaw the needs of two other staff members and hired summer interns. He reviewed the budgetary needs of investing in staff. Result: Budgetary savings from overhead equipment were reinvested into staff training, development and retention.

Campaigning: Undertook a variety of outreach efforts to support Mr. Kenney’s Private Members’ Bills. He developed a database of over 20,000 names and categorized them by interest. In addition, various public relations efforts were undertaken to raise awareness. Result: Over 55,000 signatures were amassed nation-wide in support of 2 minutes of silence on Remembrance Day.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 2009 to 2009 Agency: Public Health Agency Role: Communications Consultant Description: Contracted to assist during the H1N1 Virus Outbreak (Swine Flu)Revised media releases and reviewed/ partook in consultations on communications plansDrafted correspondenceDeveloped talking points Wrote web text
Years: 2007 to 2007 Agency: Education Quality Accountability Office Role: Communications Consultant Description: Undertook a multi-stakeholder research project of interviews to identify, rank and communicate communications priorities:Wrote plans for specific initiatives that included communication objectives, messages, target audiences, strategic considerations, tactical considerations, performance indicators, evaluation methodologies and proposed budgetDemonstrated the linkages to communication objectives in the branch's communication strategic plan.Developed an agency-wide marketing plan for distributing a new newsletter to Ontario teachersEdited communications contentManaged media buying and advertizing initiatives
Years: 2006 to 2006 Agency: Natural Resources Canada Role: Communications Consultant Description: Ongoing publicity and public relations support Edited communications contentIdentified communications products and services to be deliveredDefined evaluation methodologies
Years: 2006 to 2006 Agency: Department of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Development Agency Role: Consultation Facilitator & Policy Drafter Description: Facilitated inter-department communicationFacilitated joint task force discussions on Canadian involvement in Brazil and the Inter-AmericasDrafted/ edited a 5 page discussion paper for submission to Cabinet and senior executives

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2006 to 2006 Country / Region: Malaysia Summary: Asuna is an Italian owned, Malaysian based firm providing tannery equipment to companies worldwide. Requiring web copy that would effectively represent their business, Asuna counted on our services to provide them with copy writing services that brought out their unique selling proposition.
Years: 2006 to 2007 Country / Region: United States, California Summary: Flowers for Kids an international based charity with presences in the United States, Ecuador and Colombia has called upon our help in gaining long-eluded media coverage for the organization’s work.
Years: 2006 to 2009 Country / Region: Costa Rica Summary: On a personal note, Expert has spent time traveling extensively throughout Latin America. On an extended trip in 2006 he worked with executives of international firms to perfect their English language skills.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Canadian Society of Association Executives
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Canadian Public Relations Society
Licenses / Certifications
APR

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
An expert in public affairs, marketing and communications for the non-profit, charitable and association sector, I trained a number of clients in the areas of:

-Media Relations and crisis communications techniques/ strategies
-Using the media as an effective arm for marketing and building awareness
-Social media strategy and online public relations
-Engaging grassroots campaigns to change government policy
-How organizations can recruit Generation Y into their team and leadership
Vendor Selection
I can assist in referring excellent graphic and web design talent
Marketing Experience
I can speak to upcoming trends and challenges facing the non-profit sector.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
French
Spanish

Fields of Expertise

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