Hill & Knowlton Canada Appoints Former Toronto Police Superintendent To Crisis Communications Team



    OTTAWA, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - Jo-Anne Polak, head of crisis communications at
Hill & Knowlton Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of former
Toronto Police Superintendent Dr. Gary Ellis to the public relations firm's
national crisis communications team.
    In his new role, Dr. Ellis will help corporate clients and government
agencies prepare for a potential crisis and ensure they are able to respond to
any unforeseen events successfully. Dr. Ellis will also work with Hill &
Knowlton's national crisis communications team managing emergencies when they
occur.
    Dr. Ellis spent 30 years with the Toronto Police Service and has the
distinction of being one of the city's most decorated former officers. In
addition, he has worked in command positions with the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police, focusing on international organized crime and counter-terrorism, and
holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Toronto. He is a
graduate of, and instructor at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Academy in Virginia.
    "Looking at recent crises in North America - whether Hurricane Katrina,
shootings at Virginia Tech, or the capture of terrorists in Toronto - the
public response and communications during these events has been handled by law
enforcement officials - and extends beyond media relations into true
stakeholder outreach," said Ms. Polak, who has been leading Hill & Knowlton's
crisis offering for more than a decade. "Dr. Ellis brings to Hill & Knowlton a
tactical knowledge of how to organize and coordinate a response during an
emergency, as well as to incorporate the concerns of a broad range of
stakeholder groups.
    "When you look at issues management in that context, the value Gary Ellis
contributes, and his ability to advance Hill & Knowlton's expertise is clear-
and powerful. The appointment of a former member of the Toronto Police Service
to a public relations consultancy is not business as usual and would have been
unthinkable a few years ago - but this is where the industry needs to go to
address clients' evolving needs," she added.
    "I look forward to working with the industry leader in crisis
communications," said Dr. Ellis. "Hill & Knowlton and I share the perspective
that in the era of video cell phones, wireless Internet and YouTube,
governments and corporate Canada need to take a different approach to crisis
communications. I believe the time is right for me to bring my experiences to
help resolve the new challenges that the diverse clients of Hill & Knowlton
face."
    Hill & Knowlton's crisis team is comprised of senior strategists who are
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in every major market across
Canada. The Canadian team is also part of a larger, global network that
includes the world's finest crisis managers, media specialists, government
relations experts, writers, editors, communications trainers, digital media
experts, financial analysts and spokespeople.
    Hill & Knowlton has been engaged to work on some of the biggest crises in
Canada over the past decade, including the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off
the coast of Nova Scotia and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS). Hill & Knowlton counsels a number of leading private sector clients on
how to prepare for and manage crises and preserve their reputations under the
most difficult circumstances.

    About Hill & Knowlton Canada

    With eight offices across the country, Hill & Knowlton Canada
(www.hillandknowlton.ca) is Canada's industry leader in public relations,
public affairs and strategic communications. The company specializes in
corporate, crisis, consumer marketing, technology, natural resources,
healthcare, aboriginal and digital communications, public affairs, and
financial and investor relations. Hill & Knowlton Canada is a recipient of the
Canada Award for Excellence awarded by the National Quality Institute, and has
been recognized as a Top 100 Employer for 2007. Its parent company, Hill &
Knowlton, Inc, is a world leader in public relations and public affairs, with
70 offices in 40 countries, and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ:   WPPGY)
(www.wpp.com), one of the world's largest communications services groups.





For further information:

For further information: Gary Ellis' full biography, photos, or to
arrange an interview: Sandra Nunes, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4611,
sandra.nunes@hillandknowlton.ca

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