An awarded communications professional with 30 years of experience, Daniel Despins
founded PlanCom P.R. Inc. in 2003 after 6 years managing the Quebec arm of international public relations agency, Weber Shandwick Worldwide.
Born and raised in Quebec City, Mr. Despins holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Ottawa, one in Philosophy and one in Communications. Fluently bilingual, Mr. Despins has extensive experience in the political, public and private sectors. He has been Press Secretary to several Cabinet Ministers, employed in various communications capacities in the public service and worked as deputy director of information for a large utility company.
As principal Vice President and General Manager of Weber Shandwick Worldwide’s Quebec office in Montreal, Mr. Despins contributed to company’s expansion in the Quebec market with the acquisition of independent public relations firm BDDS, in 2000. This move, along with the company’s steady organic growth, elevated Weber Shandwick to one of the top ranked public relations firms in Quebec. Directing the firm’s public affairs practice, Mr. Despins managed prestigious accounts including Canadian Tire, The Port Wine Institute, Aventis Pharma, and the Virtual Museum of Canada while delivering many one-off projects with other major clients.
In the early 1990s Mr. Despins was a partner in a public affairs and government relations firm located in Ottawa. A leading European aerospace concern, one of Canada’s largest brokerage firms, a top national trade union, an environmental association dedicated to promoting energy alternatives and a global chemical manufacturer were among his clients.
With a career of successful communications initiatives to his credit, Mr. Despins has been garnered numerous industry awards, most notably for his work in the transportation sector and his leadership of successful promotional campaigns for industry Canada’s Excellence in Business program, and a similar initiative organized by Canadian Foreign Affairs. On the domestic front, Mr. Despins had the opportunity to act as Associate General Director of Communications for the Forum on Canada’s Future, where he oversaw national media relations and all regional advance activities.
A long time pundit on the national political scene, in 1990 Mr. Despins served as Director of Communications in the leadership campaign team of Paul Martin, the same position he held through the mid 1980s with the Liberal Party of Canada.
In the late 1980s, Mr. Despins worked as a senior consultant with an international public relations and market research firm, where he acquired extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research analysis, questionnaire design, survey analysis and focus group moderation.
Media, public and government relations, communications consulting, writing and editing, issue and crisis management and special events are some of Mr. Despins’ specialities. He is well versed in most public policy issues, notably in areas of finance and health, as well as constitutional, aboriginal, energy industry and international affairs.
Mr. Despins obtained his accreditation from the Canadian Public Relations Society in 1993 and is a member of the National Press Club of Canada.