Edelman Canada has hired Heather Conway as its new chief executive officer.
Conway takes over as head of the Toronto-based public relations agency after several years as a senior executive in client-side communications. Her previous title was executive vice-president of marketing, creative services, public affairs and affiliate marketing at Alliance Atlantis, and before that was executive VP, corporate and public affairs for TD Bank Financial Group.
Conway said her experience handling diverse responsibilities has prepared her to lead Edelman Canada at a time when public relations is becoming a more crucial component of clients’ marketing mix.
“I’ve always held the communications portfolio throughout my career, even when I was asked to expand into other parts of a business,” said Conway. “I’ve always seen it as a highly strategic function, and to be honest, I think the changes in the next five years in the [communications] function are going to be greater than in the last 50.
“You’re seeing a shift to a much more conversational model where you’re engaging with people who care about your business, your government, your product, your brand,” Conway continued, noting that these changes are being driven by the proliferation of social media. “Helping clients navigate this new space and these kinds of shifts that are occurring has to be the absolute first priority.”
Conway officially steps into the CEO’s chair on July 27. She replaces Freda Colbourne, who left Edelman in late June.