Who’s afraid of change? Not me!

I’m a strategic communications professional with more than two decades of experience in old-school and new-fangled communications. Whether I’m creating a digital strategy, writing an annual report or marketing a product, I believe that user experience is the #1 factor in executing and measuring communications efforts.

Focusing on user experience often requires collaboration between groups who are not used to working together. It also requires breaking down silos, busting paradigms and burying sacred cows. This pushes a lot of people well out of their comfort zones but it’s okay with me.

I do what I love!

I enjoy taking complex information and packaging it for different audiences in a way that meets their needs. I love research and data and I take nothing at face value. I’m comfortable in highly regulated industries and I believe in developing relationships with legal, compliance and internal business leaders to further communications objectives and help them embrace digital transformation. It’s all about consensus building.

Most recently, I supervised global content for a 600-page, three-country website in the financial services sector. This involved development of a content style guide, content training, copywriting, defect resolution, user acceptance testing and front-end development. I have also managed organic and advertising content for corporate social platforms, launched corporate blogs and trained employees on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other channels.

Let’s not forget traditional communications

Sure, it’s all about content marketing now but that doesn’t mean we can abandon the framework of good communication – who is your audience and what do they need? I came up through the old school so I have a substantial experience with the less-shiny aspects of our business – the key messages, Qs and As, fact sheets, news releases, feature articles and executive speeches.

Where have I been?

I started my career with the public sector, writing speeches for Ontario cabinet ministers and helping Canada’s biggest public school board get better at engaging with parents. I also spent 15 years in the agency setting, eight of them as co-founder of a boutique agency where I led a team of 13 people to manage media relations for some of the world’s biggest consumer brands. Most recently I spent four years helping to establish the digital presence of an international financial services provider.

I am a Past President of IABC/Toronto, a professional association comprising more than 1,500 communicators across the Greater Toronto Area.  During my tenure as president, our board won five IABC Chapter Management Awards.

In my spare time…

I’m interested in a lot of issues that are going on in our world today — etiquette, social justice, media literacy, online privacy, the role of technology in our lives, fame addiction, the odd conspiracy theory — and I write about them right here on my blog, Random Rants and Ramblings. You can check out some of my business writing here.

When I take off my professional hat, I gravitate towards more quiet pursuits. I tend to my gardens, read science fiction, hike in the forest and worry about how to prepare my kids for success in a global society.