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We're one of Western Canada's leading independent and non-partisan PR firms. Our in-depth experience in both the business and public sector gives us the insight you need to boost your exposure and weather any storm.

As experts in crisis communications, issues management, stakeholder engagement, and media relations, ZGM Communications draws on a full suite of services. This bench strength gives our clients access to every tool, tactic and strategy, from event planning to media buys, from website design and social listening, to marketing and advertising.

While we offer a wide range of services for our clients, our primary focus is to deliver positive community change, at all levels.

Bad things happen to even the best-run organizations and leaders. Breathe—we’re here to help.

crisis + issues management

We live in an era where speed matters and facts don’t. You need to get ahead of that. You need a team to get you organized and give you perspective. We'll get you ready to take control of your narrative and—more importantly—make sure that no one else does. By bringing together problem-solving crisis managers, precision-obsessed digital strategists, and one of Western Canada's most prolific creative studios, we have the talent and tools to get the situation under control, bring clarity to your voice, and certainty to your actions. From the moment we get there, things get better.

We’ve been doing this for decades and are a complete source for crisis management planning and execution. From planning out your strategy to training your spokespeople, crafting your communications to pushing it out into the world, we’re here to support you before, during, and after a crisis.

media relations training

Our media relations training program (which we deliver in-person or online) is geared specifically to tackle concerns you're facing currently or could face. We review your existing inventory of issues and walk participants through customized strategies to help respond to media inquiries. Our sessions use video footage of actual interviews, making the experience more real and tangible, and we walk participants through scenarios where key messages and questions and answers are developed collaboratively. You then have the chance to practice on camera with a group review of responses.

ZGM’s media training is practical and highly engaging. Participants leave feeling more confident about media engagement. Our style is supportive, and we work hard to build your confidence so you feel able to handle any media encounter.

Close up of moss on rock

Building trust after an environmental event

We were engaged by a major resource company to lead the communications response to a major environmental issue. A holding pond was breached, spilling more than 600,000 cubic metres of coal fines and water onto land and into tributaries of the Athabasca River.

We were first responders to the issue, and built a communications strategy for immediate response. This work included media relations (local, regional and national); stakeholder relations (Indigenous, municipal governments, provincial government); website development, and issues monitoring. We provided round-the-clock messaging and strategic counsel to the company’s leadership team as the emergency unfolded. We assisted the company’s executive team in responding to media inquiries and we led internal communications for the company.

The company was frequently praised for the respect it demonstrated to numerous stakeholders and its commitment to address the difficult situation in a thoughtful and transparent way.

We’ll engage your audiences and get them to dig deep, think clearly, and give you answers to the critical questions you need to fulfill your mandate and ambitions.

public and stakeholder engagement

For almost thirty years, we have been designing, moderating, facilitating, advertising, analyzing, synthesizing, and otherwise delivering public and stakeholder engagement for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and complexities. We’ve done it in virtually every sector and are particularly skilled at addressing the complex, risky, or outright controversial topics that other engagement teams avoid.

Whether you need a few facilitated sessions to take the temperature of a select group within the community you serve, or an omnichannel engagement design and implementation to listen closely to the needs of a broader public, we’ve done it all. We’ll engage your audiences and get them to dig deep, think clearly, and give you answers to the critical questions you need.

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digging deep on a major rebrand

We helped a large urban municipality with a major re-branding project. The client recognized the work needed to go far deeper than simply rolling out a new logo and visual identity. What was needed was a way of measuring sentiment among a diverse set of stakeholders—an expertise our team has plenty of experience delivering.

So in partnership with ZGM’s marketing team, the PR team conducted surveys, telephone interviews and face-to-face engagement sessions with host of employees and external stakeholders. The goal was to unpack some of the issues the municipality had identified, and figure out how a variety of stakeholders viewed those, as well as a number of municipal services.

This learning proved invaluable, helping drive our branding efforts with the added insight into key issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the municipality on a variety of strategic fronts. The work was complex and distilling our findings into some key actions for the client took a lot of analysis, discussions, and work to truly capture the findings and sentiment of the people we engaged with.

But the client was pleased with the work we delivered, and was positioned to launch a brand that will effectively communicate the municipality’s desired future state, assist with recruitment and retention, and enhance how its key stakeholders and residents view the corporation.


Let’s chat

Get in touch with us for a free, confidential conversation about what’s keeping you up at night.