Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Psychology @
Critical and strategic thinker, constant innovator, passionate and influential leader. Many years of experience in senior roles in national and provincial public affairs and communications. Instrumental in helping to get mental health issues on the Canadian agenda and keeping them there. Focused on driving groups and individuals toward positive change. Trusted advisor to executive leadership, provides mentorship
Critical and strategic thinker, constant innovator, passionate and influential leader. Many years of experience in senior roles in national and provincial public affairs and communications. Instrumental in helping to get mental health issues on the Canadian agenda and keeping them there. Focused on driving groups and individuals toward positive change. Trusted advisor to executive leadership, provides mentorship to junior colleagues, and a source of motivation at every level. At her best where there are grey zones and messy environments.
Expertise: Brand Positioning, Communication Plans, Stakeholder Relations, Government Relations, Media Relations Strategies, Leadership Management, Mentorship, Knowledge Exchange.
Manager Communications @ Consultant/Strategist, Communications and Public Affairs @ -Overseeing communications for I Count Mtl 2015, the first-ever Montréal Homelessness Survey (March 24, 2015), consisting of 800 volunteers walking the streets of Montréal to administer a questionnaire to those without a home. This initiative aims to improve our knowledge of the state of homelessness in the city and help the most vulnerable citizens to exit homelessness;
-Responsible for Québec stakeholder, government and media relations for a national client;
-Devised strategic communications for the federally funded, Québec portion of the largest homelessness research project in the world which consisted of testing a new approach while housing more than 1,100 homeless individuals across five Canadian urban centres and affecting policy change in that area;
-On-going strategic communications for a government health sector senior leaders’ association. From February 2014 to May 2015 (1 year 4 months) Montreal, Canada AreaDirector of Communications @ With a 10-year mandate from Health Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health issues.
In a start-up environment, with a short timeframe and a lot of pressure to make things right in a long-neglected, underfunded, stigmatized area of health, instrumental in:
Shaping a MHCC-wide vision for integrated communication strategies which included public affairs, government relations, community relations, knowledge exchange, internal communication, media relations, digital and traditional communications, events management, etc., for optimized results;
Creating a positive environment for the MHCC to deliver on its mandate and influencing policies and best practices for improving the mental health system;
Advising the MHCC on and facilitating Québec government and stakeholder relations and overall French-language communications;
Building and leading an eight-people team of communication professionals;
Introducing the use of social media tools, processes and protocols;
Spearheading the official launch of the first-ever Mental Health Strategy for Canada in an unprecedented national event including the Federal Minister of Health; live streaming to more than 1,000 viewers; live reporting; media, government and stakeholder relations; web, video and document production; and provincial tours in the subsequent months;
Communicating scientific work to lay audiences;
Managing reputational risks;
Creating the Speakers Bureau and responsible for CEO, President and high-profile speeches. From March 2010 to July 2013 (3 years 5 months) Calgary, Canada AreaChief, Department of Communications and Public Affairs @ World-class mental health institute affiliated with McGill University and the World Health Organization; its triple mandate is to deliver clinical services, conduct research and teach.
At a time when mental health issues were just emerging from the shadows, the Douglas Institute was very much suffering from stigmatization despite its incredibly talented and caring staff and its impressive body of cutting-edge researchers. Mental health was going to be the next big cause to emerge on the social landscape and I wanted to contribute.
With a results-oriented approach, demonstrated the value of integrating strategic communication expertise at the very top of the management structure. Was the only non-director to sit at the Executive Leadership Team.
From ground up, built a comprehensive Communications and Public Affairs Department with specialities in digital communications, media relations, public education, events management, internal communications and crisis management.
Created the first-ever Public Education Program in a Québec mental health institution and early adopter of social media tools to fulfill our mandate of de-stigmatization:
-Mini-Psych School (now in its 8th edition): experts in the fields of psychology and psychiatry teach members of the community easily accessible information about the brain and mental illnesses. Used YouTube to spread the word and increase views (+ 900,000 views);
-Frames of Mind Movie Festival: movie viewing with a mental health topic followed by a discussion between the audience and a mental health expert;
-Blogs from mental health professionals.
Promoted research through media relations. Increased interview requests by 62% between 2005 and 2007 (from 320 to 511 interviews).
Increased awareness for the Douglas on the Island of Montréal by 25% between 2005 and 2008 (from 52% to 65%). From May 2002 to March 2010 (7 years 11 months) Montreal, Canada AreaAccount Executive @ Researched sponsorship opportunities and managed sponsorship contracts and integrated communications plans for large organizations.
Handled Alcan’s integration to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts’ “Aluminum by Design” exhibit, the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s sponsorship of the Canadian Olympic Association during two Olympic Games, GM’s sponsorship of the Montréal Jazz Festival, Bell’s sponsorship of La Féria du Vélo, and Merck Frosst’s sponsorship of the Québec Science Fair.
Participated in developing philanthropic orientations for clients. From 1999 to 2002 (3 years)
Certificate, Public Relations @ Université de MontréalBachelor of Arts (B.A.), Psychology @ McGill University From 1991 to 1995 Stéphanie Lassonde is skilled in: Mental Health, Strategic Communications, Nonprofits, Media Relations, Public Relations, Community Development, Community Outreach, Social Media, Fundraising, Grant Writing, Editing, Corporate Communications, Event Planning, Public Speaking, Volunteer Management
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