Hires incident management expert Vlad Grigore to lead national offering from Calgary

CALGARY, AB – AUGUST 2, 2012 – Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) is launching a corporate emergency response offering as a complement to its existing crisis communications service.  The new offering will provide emergency response preparedness to organizations for all functions of crisis management and incident response, including addressing preparedness for roles and plans outside of the communications function.

Until now, H+K has helped clients to prepare for communications during a crisis by developing plans, delivering training, conducting exercises and through 24/7 on-call support.  With this expansion into emergency response, H+K will also now offer preparedness to a broader corporate emergency response team beyond communications, including Incident Commanders and those with regulatory, legal and human resources responsibilities.

To lead this national service from its Calgary office, H+K has hired Vlad Grigore, formerly energy giant Statoil’s leader of emergency response, development and production North America (DPNA). Grigore joins H+K as vice-president effective August 7, 2012, and while based in Calgary, will be working with H+K clients globally.

“Vlad brings deep experience in the incident command system structure and emergency response planning, training and strategy, as well as understanding of corporate reputation, behavioural change and risk management,” says Lisa Walker, general manager of the firm’s Alberta offices. “Working with our crisis communications experts, Vlad is uniquely positioned to provide a holistic audit and analysis of an emergency response structure from a corporate perspective.”

In his roles at Statoil and previously with emergency response planner Gecko Management Consultants, Grigore designed and wrote emergency response plans for both North American and global implementation. The emergency response network and crisis task force that he built is highly regarded, and his service as one of Statoil’s Incident Commanders will benefit H+K clients as they better understand the importance of whole crisis management, as well as the Incident Command System.

“Most companies focus their efforts on planning and implementing a frontline response to an emergency,” says Jane Shapiro, the corporate and crisis communications national service leader at H+K. “That’s important. But, in reality, to protect reputation and social license to operate, organizations need to take a holistic approach to incident management that ensures words and deeds are aligned from the start.”

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada

With nine offices across the country, Hill+Knowlton Strategies (hkstrategies.ca) is a leader in both PR and public affairs. The company is the No. 1-rated strategic communications firm in Canada. It specializes in corporate communications, government relations, marketing communications, crisis, energy, technology, health care, digital communications, financial communications and transactions. The only communications firm to have earned the Order of Excellence from Excellence Canada, it is also recognized as one of the 2012 Best Workplaces in Canada. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has 86 offices in 46 countries as well as an extensive associate network and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.