PR firms are more influential than you might think.
Public relations has always played an important supporting role in the city's power infrastructure—helping those in the limelight look good or, depending on the news, get off stage quickly. Sometimes the PR people even become part of the show.
Judy Kirk and her eponymous PR firm did just that when she was called in to do damage control in the wake of the controversial firing of UBC president Arvind Gupta. Fighting fires is par for the course with Kirk and Co., which also provided strategic advice for BC Hydro’s Site C project and the Port of Vancouver's Roberts Bank expansion.
Where Kirk focuses locally, David Brodie, GM for Citizen Relations’ Western Canadian operations, reaches outward, making sure the world’s top brands are well represented from his Vancouver office. Brodie has deep connections within Canada’s governing party as a former senior advisor to Prime Minister Paul Martin—a key political advantage in this age of extreme turbulence.
Speaking of Donald Trump, Jim Hoggan, principal of Hoggan and Associates, has a few things to say about the U.S. president. Or so you might think, based on the title of his latest book, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up. In fact, it was published in May 2016—back when Trump was still just a punchline. The éminence grise of Vancouver PR has a long history of anticipating the next big cleanup, launching his award-winning, climate-focused DeSmogBlog back in 2006.