Communication and Marketing Strategist

Communications strategist with a vast amount of international and Canadian expertise working in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Jennifer brings her digital hustle and project management skills to the fore to deliver transformational communications strategies, social media campaigns and generate pro-active media relations. 

With multi-channel skills Jennifer will harness the platforms to deliver a strategy that speaks to your clients and your organization.  

Detailed LinkedIn CV.
Get in touch.

With comprehensive communication skills I bring a wide range of media relations, social media and communications expertise and am fully bilingual with, in addition, beginner level Spanish.

I bring a full portfolio of communication capabilities including media relations, government relations, marketing and social media proficiency with a proven track record in advancing private and public issues, generating local and national media interest supported by a wide-network of media contacts.

I enjoy working closely within an organization to develop communication strategies ensuring the full communications and media relations needs are met.

With a solid network of media contacts having promoted campaigns and organizations locally, nationally and internationally. I am adept and comfortable pitching stories to the media, developing backgrounders and press releases, responding to media requests and managing sensitive issues that may arise with the press.

Having worked with not for profit charities, on political campaigns and in government relations I have managed clients appearing on major programs such as Power & Politics, PowerPlay, and appreciate the sensitivity and diplomacy required when a national organization speaks publicly.

As well as targeting the optimal media outlets to promote the municipal agenda, I would work alongside management to assess who within the organization is the best suited to participate.  I enjoy prepping and coaching speakers and take pride in developing well researched material crafted in to clear speaking points to ensure the representative is fully at ease in an interview situation. I ensure any representative is fully briefed on the particulars and content of a media appearance.

I have developed many events for a wide range of organizations that include, media announcements, working, award and social events.  On these occasions I have managed and implemented all aspects of communication, government relation and media outreach to ensure a successful event.

In leading media outreach and management and, as an early adopter of online communication approaches, I have run multiple stand-alone social media campaigns and managed many different corporate social media accounts. I am pro-active in developing timing and messaging strategies to maximize the outreach and impact of both on-line and traditional media channels recognizing the two must work in unison. I have produced commercials for clients that have run on TV, in-cinema and, of course, on the internet. 

I provide media guidance at the executive level and am adept at developing media partnerships having implemented strategies for in-kind advertising (print and television) as well as paid media for commercials, in-cinema advertising, digital and print newspaper campaigns and grassroots outreach through postering and networking with like-minded organizations. The successful result of campaigns and cultivated media relationships leads to significant media coverage.

I enjoy building relationships with Government departments and agencies making strong connections to foster common media relation and communication goals.

I am adept at producing the full toolbox of communication deliverables from communication plans, newsletters, backgrounders, press releases, Op-eds, pitches and using media monitoring tools to ensure the effectiveness of outreach. I have a proven track record of managing staff, budgets and meeting deadlines.

I manage the demands of multiple projects in a timely manner bringing decision-making and inter-team communication skills to the forefront without compromising quality. Whether liaising with partners, creating high-quality commercials, engaging media partners, generating memorable, newsworthy PR or running events I maintain professionalism and respect in all interactions regardless of pressure.   I bring creativity and empathy to my undertakings as a firm believer in taking pleasure in one’s work and motivating all team members to consistently aim for excellence.

Strengths include:

  • Deliver projects to established goals on time and on budget.
  • Develop a comprehensive Communications, Government Relations and Media Relations Strategy
  • Social Media strategies and campaigns
  • Work collaboratively with clients and creative departments as required
  • Develop strategy and communication deliver plans
  • Maximise the positive impact of key message and branding strategies.
  • Develop content: Social media content, commercials, press releases, newsletters, posters, speaking points.
  • Collaborate on presentations and investment content for print and electronic media as required.
  • Pinpoint emerging techniques and technologies to improve effective communications.
  • Leverage strong media ties.
  • Provide marketing expertise for content and outreach. Deliver marketing strategy and draft marketing content.
  • Ensure any associated champions or products are in line with a clients philosophy and brand.
  • Regular and consistent reporting to stakeholders and clients.

Key client organisations include:

  • National Gallery of Canada
  • National Arts Centre
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Tracy Arnett Realty
  • Gold on the Hill – Childhood Cancer campaing
  • Political Campaign Communications
  • Skills Compétences Canada
  • Apt613
  • Federal Government Party
  • British Telecom
  • Publicis Blueprint
  • (1,000,000/monthly)
  • UK Department of Trade and Industry
  • UrbanDandyUK
  • Nuit Blanche Ottawa 2012
  • Wellington West BIA
  • Knock on Wood
  • DISH
  • SandyHillSeen
  • London24
  • Transport Canada
  • Northern Telecom
  • Systemhouse/EDS: Clients include Health Canada, Dept. of Defence, Treasury Board
  • AutoDiversity Management inc. (ADMI)
  • Thompson Travel (UK) TUI Group
  • Unisys
  • Logistic Leaders

Rates, Samples, References available upon request.
Get in touch.

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Fantastical Canadians: Douglas Coupland’s “The National Portrait” @ OAG

The new Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is going from strength to strength as the creative hub of switched-on, relevant contemporary art in Ottawa.  The dramatic and beautiful interior, the quality and scope of the grand opening weekend (on par with galleries of any major international city), hosts to the vibrant Ottawa Fringe and now unveiling the latest work from iconic author and artist Douglas Coupland The National Portrait.

IMG_8993Coupland has created a garden of delightfully colourful sculptures by scanning the heads of random Canadians in nine cities across Canada, including his hometown Vancouver and here in Ottawa. The digital files were 3D printed with the resulting biodegradable plastic casts warped, brightly painted and assembled into a stunning entourage. The massive work, created in partnership with La Maison Simons, is a collection of 1000 sculptures ranging in size from 5cm to almost a meter in height covering an allotted 20×20 feet.  Certain stylized heads were named by genre, the tall willowy pieces being “asparagus heads”, the flattened ones “pancakes” and voyage around the work to find the “Gold Mine”. The longer one spends with the piece the more that is revealed. Many sculptures reside on vases from Coupland’s own home. It remained unanswered if the vessels are inanimate reflections of the human vessel they support or simply a found-use for the beautiful things acquired by the avid collector.

The unveiling was impeccably hosted with the sociable Coupland approaching and introducing himself to many. Equating the collaboration and teamwork involved to a traveling circus, Coupland spoke of visiting cities “Usually on a Friday, like carnies arriving in town” where a true cross section of Canadian’s: toddlers, youth, professionals, and seniors lined up to hold a pose for the 60 second long scan.  Though he doesn’t recall names each sculpture evokes a memory of the individual’s “aura” – “everyone shines from within”.  “Human beings are beautiful”, said Coupland “Which I never understood before this project.”

The work will ultimately be displayed at a to be determined Simons. It takes a village to grow a garden and The National Portrait collaborative cross-country patch of delightful human beans sprouts at the OAG through mid-August.

The contemporary art scene at its finest has arrived and it is at the OAG.


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Contributing pieces for variety of publications

Please visit Apt613 & SandyHillSeen for most recent contributing pieces.

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Freezing Seasonal Theatre @The Gladstone

Warm temperatures haven’t put a thaw on unbridled icy enthusiasm as Freezing returns to Ottawa “Bigger, Bolder… Colder” for its second seasonal run at The Gladstone Theatre.

From the opening parody song and dance number “No business like snow business” the stage is set for a performance both professionally polished and alive with playful humour.

Sandy Hill Seen

An edited version of this review was published by
Warm temperatures haven’t put a thaw on unbridled icy enthusiasm as Freezing  returns to Ottawa “Bigger, Bolder… Colder” for its second seasonal run at The Gladstone Theatre.

From the opening parody song and dance number “No business like snow business” the stage is set for a performance both professionally polished and alive with playful humour.

FreezingWill Lamond Will Lamond delivers a devilish Hans in Freezing

Appropriately for a pantomime the show never takes itself too seriously, convivially embracing the fine tradition of on-stage slapstick coupled with audience participation. Freezing ticks all the boxes of the traditional Christmas panto; parodying an – albeit new – classic, incorporating rollicking song and dance, bringing nonsense and groaner comedy alongside current political references to the fore and including the controversial yet iconic cross-dressing pantomime dame – finely played by Constant Bernard. The dame, facing politically…

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Terror Impacts: preferential coverage and little ears

An edited version of this article appears in UrbanDandyLondon.  On the Friday evening of the repulsive terror attacks in Paris, we carefully limited the news in our household mindful of the fears it might awaken in our 6-year-old.

Beirut Iraq Paris SyriaFrom Beirut through Paris, and in so many other regions, people were going about their daily lives when horror erupted. Accompanying death were traumatic, chilling sights and sounds imprinted on survivors and transmitted to onlookers near and far.

As we began to weigh-in on what to tell a young child. Whether to share or shelter her from the news that was, after all, not on our shores the question of the location raised its head.

The continued pervasive coverage of France’s tragedy is neither surprising nor an insult to other countries or populations that have equally suffered. This is not a competition. In London the coverage of 7/7 was intense and on-going for months, especially in the UK. Last year the October shooting in Ottawa, Canada saw international coverage but no where was this coverage more concentrated and extensive than in Canada.

Paris is an international city; one of the most visited and well-known even to those that have only toured it via films and books. This fact is precisely why coverage of the tragedy here is more intense than the coverage of similar attacks. Paris is a relatable, familiar location where many of us have participated in the exact activities, in the exact locations where these event unfolded.  Familiarity breeds curiosity. The 2013 Westgate Mall siege provoked blanket media coverage. There have been attacks before and since in Kenya however this assault occurred in an everyday familiar location– a shopping mall – riveting global interest. Paris belongs not only to the French but is a global outpost which many call “home” whether they’ve taken up residence or not.  The population of Paris is not simply French but vibrant, massively multi-cultural; where Eid and Diwali are equal currency to Hanukkah and Christmas.

Comfort must overrule the cynicism in the perception of preferential coverage. If anything, the coverage of Paris shines a light on bias and can, if allowed, frame an understanding of life in war zones and build empathy towards refugees fleeing these exact horrors.

So, recognizing that media will be intense and pervasive does one shelter or share with a child? We all make our own choices as parents but open discussion should rule. Parents, families, friends, aunts and uncles are best placed to open this sensitive dialogue even in a selective, imprecise manner.  Children, even the very young, are acutely perceptive whether to a news report playing in their home, a magazine, newspaper or iPad story left open. A media-blackout at home can’t control what is overheard on the streets, schoolyards and playgrounds. Far worse than having this delicate, uncomfortable conversation is a child being burdened with almost incomprehensible information from another child that may have been exposed to the horrible details without an opportunity for follow-up and exchange.

So we sit with our children and tell them that some people were hurt in Paris and that this has made us and the world incredibly sad.  We light a candle and take them to a memorial if they need comfort.  We start a dialogue enabling them to come back to us should they overhear disturbing news, have questions or fears. Together, regardless of age, we open that interchange, we fumble, we improvise, we speak; we simply do our best to ensure the communication is there for solidarity, empathy and reassurance.

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Kim’s Convenience: Pitch Perfect Performances at the NAC

Sandy Hill Seen

My only regret about seeing Kim’s Convenience at the NAC last night was that I didn’t go earlier in the run and have greater opportunity to plug this SoulPepper Theatre production by Ins Choi.

Soulpepper's Kim's ConvenienceInitially a vignette Choi was encouraged to grow Kim’s Convenience to a full length play which went on to win the Fringe Festival New Play 2011 and is now on a National tour. Set in a Toronto convenience store the story of what will become of the family business as Mr Kim (the remarkable Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) nears retirement goes deeper exploring generational and personal expectations and the power of acceptance. Kim, his wife (Jean Yoon) and daughter Janet (Grace-Lynn Kung) reveal distinctly personal desires despite living in the close confines above the small shop creating resonant characters that ground the production from the outset.

The writing and directing are crisp transitioning the audience smoothly from…

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Socialites & Psychopaths engage in “Deadly Murder”

An edited version of this review appeared in
What’s in a name? Not much or so says Shakespeare but as murder is in its essence deadly this name sticks for the wrong reasons. Playwright David Foley weighed other monikers including the superior “If/Then” yet one thing we can say for his chosen designation is that it fairly screams “Christie-sque Thriller” and that is exactly what the evening delivers

Marghetis as Billy Photo Maria Vartanova

Marghetis as Billy
Photo Maria Vartanova

Set in the luxury apartment of a Manhattan socialite of “a certain age” Camille (Kim Strauss) this three-hander gets straight to business with Camille attempting to divest herself of one-night stand waiter Billy (Connor Marghetis) who, in turn, most ungallantly rejects this post-romp dismissal. Attempted offers of “cab-fare” escalate to sex tape blackmail and the summoning of security guard Ted (Tim Finnigan). Revealing himself as an accomplished hustler Billy soon has both Camille and Tim disarmed with a scenario shift from opportunistic burglary to pre-mediated shakedown. From this point hairpin twists come fast and furiously throughout the 2 Acts with murders, both real and imagined, moving the action along in thoroughly entertaining order through to the final curtain.

Strauss & Finnigan Photo: Maria Vartanova

Strauss & Finnigan
Photo: Maria Vartanova

In the interest of full disclosure thrillers are not my predilection so the competence and enthusiasm the cast brought to the stage was a gratifying element of the evening. Marghetis is a charming and scheming interloper though a dollop of pure menace could only enhance his part. Finnigan though capable at times struggles to characterise the full weighed of down-trodden desperation in the role of the indebted gambler security guard. Kim Strauss however is a stand-out as Camille embodying the quintessentially clever, slightly-jaded, socialite with energy, insights and timing as sharp as any hustlers.

It was with trepidation transformed to admiration that we watched Strauss, without training or experience, take to the stage commanding the room with a highly believable personification of a rather multi-faceted Camille. From the very outset while attempting to shift her unwanted Lothario Strauss moved seamlessly from charmingly indulgent to confidently direct telling Billy to “suck it up and move on”. On stage almost throughout and with the lion’s share of dialogue Strauss assuredly kept pace, drama and our avid attention.

The trio’s witty delivery and obvious synergies alongside Foley’s psychological contortions elevate the evening above whodunit plotlines to a fully-formed production that’s a pleasure to watch through to the clever if/then ending.

Deadly Murder at Ottawa Little Theatre until Nov 2, 2013 7:30pm (Mondays excepted) Matinee October 27th, 2013
400 King Edward Ave.
Ottawa, K1N 7M7

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FreshMeat: Serving Bite-Sized Theatre with a Brew

An edited version of this article appeared in
Grab your drink and take your seats as FreshMeat2 Theatre rolls in to town for not one but two consecutive weekends October 17-19 and 24-26!

FireFlood Theatre1The pop-up festival brings 14 top theatre companies together to showcase brand spanking new short and sharp edgy works in a single, comfortable and ‘serving’ venue. Keeping it fresh the 14 companies are split over two weekends – so it’s a completely new experience any time you drop in. The 7 companies selected per weekend (Thursday-Sunday nights) perform a total of 4 brief, 20-minute, pieces per night. The rotating schedule and time-restricted performances create concentrated bursts of creativity throughout the evening while comedy hosts keep the flavour fresh between troupes.

Local aficionados will recognise companies including: Prix Rideau Award nominees May Can Theatre, Future of the Fringe Award winners Backpack Theatre, and Dead Unicorn Ink returning from a sold-out Fringe run and subsequent re-staging of Chesterfield.

New companies include THUNK! Theatre creators of smash-hit Bread at this year’s Undercurrents,  Norah Paton, director of touring Fringe show Around Miss Julie and, 2 ½ Women the relentlessly funny trio from last year’s Crush Improv “Bout Time” tournaments host the second weekend as well as performing a twenty-minute set, with GRIMprov hosts of the first weekend.

Immerse yourself for the weekend or take a first theatre dip at a collaborative event where artists take risks they might not otherwise explore in 20-minutes explosive theatre bites.

FreshMeat2: DIY Theatre Fest
Lunenburg Pub & Bar, 14 Waller Street, Ottawa, K1N 9C4
October 17-19 and 24-26 doors 6:30, show 7pm
Tickets: $15/night, $25/weekend, $40/full festival pass.
Tickets available at door and via .

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As Clear as the Air we Breathe – Run London Run


Mara countdownThe countdown clock at the official London Marathon Shop in Covent Garden continues to mark off time to this Sunday’s run. The Met confirmed that 40% more police will be called in to watch over the event but quite rightly it will go ahead.

As in the wake of the 7/7 bombing London and the international sporting community will demonstrate that terror does not rule our lives. In solidarity the streets of the picturesque 26 mile course will be lined from Blackheath through Canary Wharf all the way down The Mall to the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace.

Run Bindi Run

Run Bindi Run

Veteran London Marathoner, Canadian and London resident of almost two decades Bindi Karia perfectly represents so many that have made one of the world’s most multicultural cities their home.  Karia confirmed despite initial trepidation when the Boston news broke she’ll indeed take her place along the finish line to cheer on friends amongst the almost 38 000 participants so many of which will be raising money for charities.  Wearing a black ribbon her presence alongside runners and supporters is a defiant stance against those who would disrupt the beautiful spectacle of endurance, sporting excellence and shatter our ability to come together.

London maraA 30-second silence will be held before each on the three starts and all are encouraged to wear tribute ribbons in support of Boston. In an iconic city of almost 10million residents fear is, as it has always been, a choice so this Sunday London will remember those affected and squarely stare down any attempt to paralyse its residents and visitors.  From WW2 bombs through terrorist attacks to everyday life people will continue amass at events, on tubes, in markets, parks, the City, galleries and shopping arcades. Now as before people will come together choosing not to be cowed or stifled in their enjoyment. This Sunday expats, immigrants, tourists and Londoners will run, volunteer and cheer as one and the message will be clear: we are legion and we are not afraid.

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Slice & Co. No-go on Elgin

When a new restaurant opens I’m prepared to be delighted and thrilled. I’m always on the lookout for impressive service – after all they’ve just opened– and innovative cooking in a fresh setting.

Slice and co wineUnfortunately the latest pizza venue on Elgin wasn’t up to meeting my starry-eyed expectations. The small venue dominated by a front service counter and open kitchen has the look of an upmarket take away & eat in joint. There is a small bar area, high stool seating and a handful of booths nestled in the corners. The rich red walls paired with glossy polished- wood and dangling Edison bulbs is stylishly on-trend and wine comes in stemless glassware while cocktails are served in jam jars. Had the menu and service followed suite to the décor we’d have been on to a winning laid-back local.

But here’s the disconnect; if “Slice” is in the name you’d do well to offer that option. Our misguided idea of grabbing slices with sides for a menu sampling was shot down leaving us slightly befuddled but innocently confident we’d solve this conundrum.  Let’s simply choose two small pizzas: one meat and one veg.  Well that wasn’t going to work as specific pizzas come in specific sizes and no they can’t be swapped out. That’s right you can’t choose what you want in the size that you want.  Wanting a small veg and a small pepperoni is not an option. Naively we thought we’d circumvent this problem by adding ingredients but this too failed.  A simple add-on of pepperoni to one of the small vegetable pizza was also disallowed as there are no substitutes.

Slice and co PizzaIf we’d not ordered drinks we’d have fled as this amount of inflexibility didn’t bode well.  After all these are pizzas not Heston Blumenthal creations so it’s worrisome that an ingredient might throw off the kitchen.  Properly admonished we did as told and had a medium pepperoni prepared to the chef’s preference. The 24$ medium was adequate though the thin crust slightly undercooked even soggy at its centre and the sauce needs, at a minimum, greater lashings of garlic and some oregano. The cheese was generous as was the pepperoni but there was nothing that lifted our pie above the ordinary.

Finally, though the service was satisfactory, “uniform” outfits really have no place outside of chains. Prescribed black shorts and black deck shoes remove the individuality of any server and are out-dated in an urban-casual interior design.

Despite my disappointing visit I’d like to see this eatery do well – ideally a slice-only take away window, a pared-down eat in menu making room for greater flexibility in their signature pizza offering, and a firm farewell to the outfits. I’ll stay alert to changes and any improvements will be duly noted as they bed in to the local neighbourhood.

399 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M9

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