Public Affairs Executive Resume Sample

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Record of consistent results with crisis response, negative press, product recalls and corporate re-imaging.

Intuitive professional reputed an expert at critically evaluating operational and program shortcomings, then instituting innovative policies and procedures to recapture and secure membership, revenue, profitability, and staff buy-in. Acknowledged throughout career for demonstrating rational decision making: weighing facts and parlaying the most pertinent information and follow-up accordingly. Exemplary ability to distil the most effective course of action in response to large scale crisis, negative publicity, and languishing internal/external communication protocols. Employs astute relationship building skills that foster teamwork and cooperation at all levels and with key external stakeholders. Core competencies:

• Crisis & Issues Management • Public Reputation Management • Product Recall Planning
• Member & Board Relations • Strategic & Tactical Planning • Marketing Campaigns
• Research & Reporting • Policies & Procedures • C-Level Presentation Coaching
• Media Spokesperson • Public & Media Relations • Special Event Coordination
• Corporate Correspondence • Legal & Legislative Affairs • Confidentiality Assurance


Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) – International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Associate Member – Canadian Investor Relations Institute


ACXSYS CORP. Toronto, Ontario
1999 to 2005

Recruited to provide strategic public relations (PR), external communications, media-savvy, and marketplace research leadership for the world’s leading online electronic debit service provider. Set the foundation for the newly created PR Department. Central figure during the developmental phases of the INTERAC Online payment services including the full scope of PR and marketing programs and budgets. Headed efforts to share public positioning, manage issues and crisis incidents threatening the reputation of the brand and shared services. Reviewed all publicly disseminated information.

Leadership: Cemented a stabilized, consistent and intuitive data exchange platform for the corporate head office and vital communication channels to membership of up to 90 - 145 across the country. Oversaw a professional staff of four. Granted an annual $4M budget.

  • Engaged in Executive Committee functions to hone the overall operations reporting to the Board of Directors representing the shareholders: BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, National Bank of Canada, Desjardins Group and Credit Union Central of Canada.
  • Navigated the 100% increase in negative media coverage pertaining to fraud and fees by executing a targeted PR and marketing communications programs. Recaptured 50% preferred payment service standing among Canadians.
  • Delineated Association vs. Membership job duties, fostering a more positive and focused work climate.
  • After the Competition Bureau’s directive to open marketplace endorsed a minimum membership fee. Dual results were quality benchmarking for those who have access to Canadians’ bank accounts, as well as a previously untapped Association revenue stream. 

Internal Communications: Garnered support and unity of purpose by conducting semi-annual “all in meetings”.

  • Assembled internal departments with outside advertising, PR and research agencies. Briefed attendees on business direction and specific, current issues. 
  • Urged suppliers to work together freely without using ACXSYS as a conduit. The advice was taken with many suppliers partnering together to meld business relations. 
  • Heightened member familiarity of service continuum by preparing information binders, advisory handbooks, newsletters, and special alerts. Armed them with standardized messages/answers for use during a crisis.

Public Awareness: Recognized the need to gain consumer support to mitigate fraud by launching the Protect Your PIN icon campaign on all Canadian ABMs and POS terminals.

  • Generated education packages during rollout to train bank/credit union staff to inform customers about the purpose and significance of the new icon without creating fear. Insight well recognized. The International Debit Card Risk Management Group requested and was granted permission to use the icon globally. 

Strategic Writing: Granted autonomy to pen corporate communication including press releases, fraud mitigation collaterals, annual reports, newsletters, brochures, speeches and stakeholder communications. Asked to review written materials from other, senior-level staff.

  • Formulated key messages and background documents for use by all major banks and pertinent associations.
  • Crafted high impact press releases, netting as much as $500K+ in broadcast and print coverage and reaching 17+ million domestic and 20 million international audiences from a single press release.
  • Trusted to uphold the market stance of Interac as a world leader in direct payment and shared cash services. Wrote compelling speeches for CEO/ Senior Executives to deliver at national and international forums.

Media Relations: Relied upon to deliver consistently sound information exchange as the corporate chief media/business spokesperson.

  • Leveraged benchmark research to drive annual service awareness campaigns by releasing results to the media. Without exception, secured extensive exposure.

Brand Development: Elevated corporate presence via consistent brand-building measures.

  • Refortified service identity after Advertising Division slashed promotional funding. Responded with an aggressive three-year plan which returned consumer awareness to an earlier level.

Member Management: Benchmarked quality standards, enacting fines for non-compliance with rules.

  • Formalized prerequisites for potential and new members. Specified timelines for technical testing and integrated a fee structure to candidate members to assess in-house expertise to participate in the services.

Crisis Containment: Expertly negotiated with the media to obtain public retractions immediately upon the release of skewed or unfounded information.

  • Facilitated communications programs to educate federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement authorities to contain the negative impact of nation-wide, public statements citing increased fraud potential when using the Interac electronic services. In tandem, countered negative publicity by coining key messages to maintain public confidence. Coordinated focus group to vigilantly monitor the most effective messages.
NABISCO LTD. Toronto, Ontario
1978 to 1999

Accepted this senior-most role after continuous successive promotions for this leading consumer packaged food goods producer. Central point of contact for all business, financial and consumer media relations. Designated to directly interface with appropriate government agencies on issues like food safety and tariffs. Spearheaded the strategy and direction of all internal and external communications; senior management counsel; product recalls; and plant closures. Structured an SAP R/3 company-wide communications program.

Public Reputation Management: Counseled CEO and Senior Management on all aspects of public reputation management. Strengthened internal training by launching the Senior Management Leadership Program.

  • Sidestepped possible negative public perception of reduced charitable contributions during corporate downsizing. Personally presented at several conferences on corporate responsibility and charitable giving explaining the retooled strategy and its effectiveness.

Crisis Management: Staved off a $200M brand franchise loss by engaging in quick countermeasures to a pasta-manufacturing product quality issue. Convinced Health Protection that it was a taste issue and not a health hazard. The product was quietly recalled without incident.

  • Leveraged experienced skill-set to tackle a contentious and complex situation involving the parent company, Native Canadian artist, and the corporate commitment to creating a sculpture for Canada’s embassy in Washington. Artist overshot the budget by $1.85M at the same time as corporate downsizing occurred, resulting in project delays. Overturned negative media and embassy criticism to a positive outcome, with the sculpture, “The Spirit of Haida Gwai” being completed and appearing on the new $20 bill.

Brand Development: Assisted Brand Managers with the development of cost-efficient, positive public awareness-raising PR programs. Impact-rich results garnered $500K in media coverage on three product launches.


Requested to serve as a stabilizing influence during this time of extensive mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and leveraged buy-outs. Presided over programming to support various crisis issues including downsizing, plant closings, plant strike, national product recalls related to product safety/product failure. Demonstrated unwavering leadership during these extremely chaotic, unpredictable and dangerous times. The central point of contact with the international parent company to ensure the consistent promotion of Nabisco and its (350) brands.

Event Coordination: Headed all logistics for multiple, high profile fundraising initiatives earning as much as 250K per year for a single event. Secured speakers and celebrities Faith Popcorn, Bobby Orr, Jack Nicklaus, and Dr David Foot.

  • Organized two top 100 leadership conferences each year, an exclusive culmination of the top performing 100 people from all functional areas across the country.

Marketing: Revitalized numerous product lines, innovatively structuring unique promotional campaigns. Captured media attention from Global, Canadian Living, and Chatelaine.


Selected to develop Shareholders’ communications and honed internal/external information exchange programs, including a bilingual communications, orientation and training program for the (McKinsey) corporate downsizing initiative.

Earlier work includes HR positions at Nabisco and Reporter & Editorial roles for Global Television.


Strategic Management Of Investor Relations Certificate - The University of Western Ontario
Accredited Public Relations (A.P.R.) - Canadian Public Relations Society
Employee Benefits Certificate - Humber College
Bachelor of Arts - Social Sciences - York University

Focused ~ Intuitive ~ Resourceful

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