Dominique O’Rourke, Founder & Principal
A respected public affairs professional, Dominique O’Rourke has a proven track record of success in high stakes issues management. She loves to tackle a good challenge like spearheading trust and reputation research, strategy and measurement for an industry at an all-time low in public opinion; passing critical legislation at the eleventh hour of a minority government, or turning what Canada AM dubbed the ‘Exxon Valdez of Privacy’ into a corporate success story.
She has counselled and trained executives at the most senior levels, providing leadership and guidance on everything from crisis communications, issues management and government relations to social marketing, corporate social responsibility, signature sponsorship programs and reputation management. During her tenure as Director, Public Affairs for The Co-operators Group, she established crisis communications process and protocol across the group of companies and served as primary spokesperson.
With extensive experience developing and implementing government, public and media relations strategies, Dominique has an uncanny grasp of the big picture, key issues and audiences and winning strategies. Whether media training or developing government relations strategies or social marketing plans, Dominique believes that understanding her clients’ audiences, their priorities, language and preferred methods of communications is key in reaching business objectives.
Respected for her creative, comprehensive and positive approaches, one of her first national social marketing programs lasted more than a decade old and won multiple awards.
A thorough researcher and talented writer, many of her projects have been important tools for public policy advocacy. These include #GenerationFlux : Understanding the seismic shifts that are shaking Canada’s youth, Sport & Belonging and Art & Belonging – national reports with original research for Community Foundations of Canada.
Dominique also worked extensively with the Canadian Index of Wellbeing to adapt academic reports for public consumption, led media relations to ensure coverage and attended thought leader sessions to draft policy recommendations. She was instrumental in the knowledge mobilization for How are Ontarians Really Doing?, the 2016 national report How are Canadians Really Doing?, Ontario Regional snapshots for the Trillium Foundation and on-the-ground support for Engage Nova Scotia and the Saskatchewan Wellbeing Reports.
A dynamic and fully bilingual presenter she has presented and facilitated workshops for professional conferences, internal audiences, national and international gatherings. She has assisted grassroots and community organizations in setting their strategic direction, enhancing their communications strategies and broadening marketing approaches.
Adept at marshaling community resources, securing sponsors, planning events and building momentum, Dominique led the fundraising and community mobilization work with Special Olympics Ontario for the 2016 Special Olympics Provincial Spring Games in Guelph.
Dominique is a current city councillor in Guelph Ontario, serving a ward of 27,000 residents. Through this experience she has gained a mastery of many municipal government and governance issues.
A proud franco-ontarian, Dominique is the current vice-chair of Groupe Média TFO. She also supports the development of Guelph’s French-speaking community and serves on the regional Table Inter-agence Francophone Waterloo-Wellington-Guelph.
In 2012, Dominique completed her MA in Leadership at the University of Guelph with research focused on inter-organizational trust. She also previously served on the university’s Leadership Advisory Board.