Peak Communicators
February 10, 2017

Want to reach everyone at once? Call a news conference

Take the case of the Sunshine Coast Health Centre, a well-respected addiction treatment centre in Powell River where 20-year-old Brandon Jansen died of a fentanyl overdose last March. The centre was getting a lot of bad publicity with family members saying it was easy for Brandon to get contraband drugs within three days of entering treatment.

But investigations by both the RCMP and the regulator – Vancouver Coastal Health’s Community Care Facilities Licensing authority – determined there were no contraventions of rules and regulations.

In fact, the facility had consistently maintained a low risk rating with no other critical incidents or any drug-related incidents reported since the facility was first licensed in 2004. Yet, the centre’s reputation was taking a beating.

CEO Melanie Jordan has much to say about what treatment is – and what it isn’t. Addiction treatment centres are not prisons or lockup. Clients have rights and freedom.

Accredited staff members treat people for many types of addictions including alcoholism and prescription drugs abuse. Root causes of addiction are addressed including mental health and physical issues. Melanie Jordan wanted to speak publicly about the tragic death in her facility and have a voice in the search for solutions to stop the unprecedented number of deaths caused by fentanyl.

She enthusiastically embraced the concept of being front and centre at a news conference to be held November 14th. A Media Advisory was sent out inviting reporters and videographers to attend.

As the news conference got underway, news cameras quickly swung to the doorway where three visitors had appeared: Brandon Jansen’s mother Michelle, her son Nicholas and her lawyer.

They politely listened as the news conference went forward with Melanie Jordan providing reporters with the written investigation reports that found her centre was operating within the regulations.

But her most important message was aimed at the government and the medical profession.

Staff at the centre had not been permitted to administer the opiate antidote naloxone and it was possible that could have saved Brandon’s life.

Since Brandon’s death, the centre has received permission to train staff to administer naloxone and the staff physician can treat clients with Suboxone that takes away the craving for opiates.

With more than a dozen news organizations present at the news conference, this important information was received by the public across Canada. The record was set straight. The way forward was articulated. The news went out – all at once.

And the voice of Brandon Jansen’s family was also heard. They held their own media briefing following the news conference so as much information as possible surrounding this tragic death would be in the public forum.

Melanie Jordan and the Sunshine Coast Health Centre have standing at an inquest into Brandon Jansen’s death scheduled for January. This will be another forum where voices will be heard.

March 15, 2016


Navitas is a leading global education provider that offers an extensive range of educational services through three major Divisions to students and professionals including university programs, creative media education, professional education, English language training and settlement services.The objective of this public relations campaign was to strengthen the reputation of its two Canadian Colleges by earning positive media coverage.

the goals

  • Educate existing and potential Navitas partners on the company’s mission and operations in Canada and, in turn, create wider community acceptance.
  • Position Navitas and its Canadian colleges as caring education providers that help international students achieve social and academic success.
  • Showcase the economic impact Navitas and its pathway programs have at a local, provincial, and national level.
  • Highlight student-success stories

the campaign

Peak worked with Navitas for more than two years promoting Fraser International College in Burnaby, B.C. and the International College of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The media coverage focused attention on the college’s key messages, including:

  • Students studying at Navitas colleges achieve academic success
  • Navitas helps students integrate into their new communities
  • International students contribute to the Canadian/provincial economy

the key results

  • Peak generated 91 piece of media coverage and an estimated 18,849,483 impressions for both colleges between October 2013 and January 2015
  • Media coverage highlights included:

July 12, 2015

Mission Public Schools

Client Objective

Mission Public Schools, the school district in Mission managing K – 12, engaged Peak in 2009 to help manage its public reputation. Peak acted as the communications department for the school district to help develop the district’s reputation as a stable, well-run school district, during a time of challenging budget cutbacks, school closures, staff layoffs and the implementation of a controversial middle school program.


Due to budget cuts, the school district had laid off unionized staff. In addition, the school district had sent 30 staff to a conference that would prepare it for the organization’s next step – embedding middle schools into high schools. The decision to send staff to the conference was criticized in light of the layoffs.

Peak trained spokespeople for Mission Public Schools, managed the issues around the conference and layoffs and celebrated the school district’s successes by garnering positive media coverage focusing on a number of positive education initiatives.

Key Results

  • Thanks to the media preparation Peak provided, the school district was able to act on short notice to answer media questions about the conference and layoffs clearly and strongly, resulting in balanced news coverage on one day  that  was not followed up on by media
  • Peak generated 17 pieces of media coverage that told positive stories about Mission Public Schools

July 9, 2015

Simon Fraser University

Client objective

The university wanted to utilize a new five-year plan as an opportunity to rebrand as ‘Canada’s  connected university’.  To enhance its reputation, SFU’s vision is to be the leading engaged university in Canada, defined by its integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and community connections.


SFU Engage was an interactive, multimedia campaign designed to enhance SFU’s reputation as Canada’s most engaged university: engaging research, engaging students, engaging communities. Peak partnered with Karo Group, a leading marketing-communications firm in Vancouver, to create and execute a five-year plan to rebrand SFU as a connected university, and to publicize that rebranding. The university’s tagline became, “Engaging the world.” Karo carried out the rebranding and Peak planned and executed the social media and publicity campaigns. Key messages included SFU’s commitment to the community and the direct parallel between education and lifelong success.

Key results

  • 23 million impressions through out-of-home (transit) advertising
  • More than three million impressions in traditional print and online outlets
  • One million impressions in print advertising
  • More than 500,000 impressions in social media outlets
  • Nearly 40 hits in traditional and digital media outlets
  • A full house at the vision statement launch event at the Bill Reid Gallery at SFU’s downtown campus, where students, staff, faculty, alumni, government and media were introduced to the new vision and tagline
  • Interviews with President Andrew Petter on CBC’s The Early Edition and CKNW’s Bill Good Show celebrating the launch of SFU’s new vision statement
  • Production of a powerful video and visually arresting pop-banners showing how SFU is engaging the world through its new vision. The video and banners have already been used again at internal and external events to engage audiences and promote SFU
  • Successful contest drawing stakeholders from Facebook and other online platforms to the SFU Engage microsite. The opportunity to win an SFU-Haida Gwaii experience was a key element in engaging audiences in the campaign
  • A National Aboriginal Day op-ed in the Vancouver Sun by SFU student Kathryn Ovenell-Carter discussing aboriginal teaching methodologies and how they can be applied to students from all cultures and ethnicities. Kathryn’s op-ed also ran in The Tyee