GCI Continues Expansion of Digital Offering

Sharon Fernandes Joins Team as Director, Digital Strategy & Talent

TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Leading Canadian public relations and public affairs firm, GCI Group (GCI), is pleased to announce the appointment of Sharon Fernandes to the position of Director of Digital and Talent Planning, and the promotions of Anya Kravets to the new role of Group Manager, Digital Health and Laura Maize to Consultant, Digital.

"As client needs continue to evolve, GCI is committed to building our team of talented, diverse individuals to provide seamless, integrated and innovative digital strategy and counsel," says Marion MacKenzie, President, GCI Group. "This is a key indication of the direction we are taking as a business and our ongoing commitment to providing best-in-class and results-driven communication programs."

Sharon Fernandes – Appointed to Director of Digital and Talent Planning

Sharon joins GCI with robust experience in digital communications and consulting, including previous roles at public relations and social media firms. Sharon also managed the Corporate Communications for chatr wireless at Rogers Communications and was the Social Media Manager for Kobo, where her sole responsibility was to support major company initiatives and drive customer engagement online. In 2013 Sharon completed the Ryerson University, Chang School of Business, Human Resources Management Certificate. This program provided her with a comprehensive foundation in current talent management techniques and issues. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of GCI's Digital team, Sharon will be assisting the Leadership team in aligning the firm's long term business and talent strategy.

In her digital role, Sharon will complement the work of GCI's existing team including Jaigris Hodson PhD, Counsellor, Digital Media and Insights and Denise Brunsdon, Counsellor, Digital Public Affairs. Jaigris holds a PhD from York and Ryerson Universities' Joint Program in Communications and Culture (Dissertation: What Social Media Likes: A critical discourse analysis of the Google, Facebook and Twitter corporate weblogs), enjoying a strong research and analytics background. Denise has significant depth in digital public affairs, public engagement and campaigns, including a social media secondment role inside Barack Obama's 2012 Presidential election campaign headquarters in North Carolina.

"We are continuing to build a multi-dimensional offering, ensuring that we can bring a complete and integrated perspective to our clients' challenges and opportunities," says MacKenzie. "As a WPP company we also have a wide range of network resources and external partnerships with dedicated digital media organizations available to us that can readily benefit our clients."

In addition to Sharon's appointment, GCI has further enhanced its Digital practice with the promotion of two key members within the existing team.

Anya Kravets – Promoted to Group Manager, Digital Health

Anya joined the healthcare team in May 2013. Since then she established herself as a key account lead on several GCI healthcare files and coupled her experience in pharmaceutical and consumer health with her passion for social media, to assist in developing innovative programs for clients across multiple channels. In her new role as Group Manager, Digital Health, Anya will be responsible for supporting the development of GCI's digital healthcare offering.

Laura Maize – Promoted to Consultant, Digital

Since joining GCI in May 2012, Laura has become an invaluable asset on the digital team, demonstrating her keen skills for content writing, social listening, digital analysis and industry trend identification. Laura's client focus and drive have helped her communicate client stories online in an impactful and meaningful way. Additionally, she assists the GCI Digital team to provide top-quality social media analysis for a variety of clients, helping to shape digital strategy across the Consumer, Corporate, Public Affairs and Healthcare practices.

About GCI Group
GCI Group is a member of the WPP network, the world's largest communications services group. The company is distinguished by its long-time client relationships with some of the world's most well-known brands. GCI Group enjoys consistently superior client service accolades from our clients. This is driven by our commitment to outstanding client service and practical creativity to drive results and nimbleness. Our motto is "Change Rules". We focus on delivering the big (or small idea) that drives changes, applying the digital media evolution thoughtfully and being brilliant with the basics. GCI Group offers a full range of communications services in Public Affairs, Healthcare, Corporate, Consumer Lifestyle and Digital/Social Media.

SOURCE: GCI Group

For further information: Marion MacKenzie, President, GCI Group, Phone: 416-486-5909, Email: marion.mackenzie@gcicanada.com

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