Toronto, ON – September 8, 2011 – Mike Coates, president and CEO of Hill & Knowlton Canada, the country’s #1 rated public relations and public affairs firm, today announced the promotion of several members of the company’s senior team.

Ilyse Smith has been named general manager, Toronto, overseeing the company’s largest office in Canada and one of the largest in the global network. Jeff Smith is taking on to the new role of chief development officer, with a focus on driving growth for the firm. Selena Cameron has been promoted to the head of national corporate development.

“These management changes position us well to continue to grow and expand our business and will strengthen our overall operation,” said Coates.  “Jeff, Ilyse and Selena are all proven leaders who have made significant contributions to the company.”

Jeff Smith, formerly GM of the Toronto office, joined Hill & Knowlton Canada in 1995 and his background with the firm is diverse. He built a strong team of public affairs consultants in Ottawa before moving to China and taking over the leadership of the Beijing and Shanghai operations in 2002.  Upon returning to Canada in 2005, he became general manager of the Toronto office.

In his new role, he will focus on growing Hill & Knowlton Canada outside of its core business of public affairs, corporate communications and marketing communications.  He will be responsible for identifying new service offerings that can be built or acquired within the mandate of a diversified PR company. He will remain a member of Hill & Knowlton’s global senior management team.

Ilyse Smith has been with Hill & Knowlton Canada for fifteen years. She began her career at the company in the Toronto technology communications practice, a group she later led before becoming national technology practice leader. After heading up both the Toronto corporate communications and crisis team, she led the national corporate development unit where she successfully directed new business strategy and marketing for the agency.  She has been a member of the firm’s senior leadership team for 11 years.

Stepping into the role as the head of national corporate development is Selena Cameron.  She has worked for Hill & Knowlton in both Canada and the UK in various consulting positions in the technology, healthcare and corporate communications practices. Before moving to the UK where she worked in the corporate communications team, she led Hill & Knowlton’s Toronto marketing communications group. Before rejoining the firm earlier this year as head of national marketing, Cameron was client services director at MS&L UK.

“Each of these individuals has a unique perspective on our business, because they’ve worked in so many different areas of the firm and understand our operations, culture and business plan,” continued Coates. “They also show the great importance and rewards of loyalty, as each of them has been with us over the long-term. With these appointments, I’m confident we can build on the momentum of our largest office, keep our business competitive and growing, and drive our new business efforts to new levels.”

All appointments are effective immediately.

About Hill & Knowlton

With eight offices across the country, Hill & Knowlton Canada is Canada’s industry leader in public relations, public affairs and strategic communications. The company specializes in corporate, crisis, consumer marketing, technology, natural resources, health care, digital communications, public affairs, and financial and investor relations.  Hill & Knowlton Canada is a recipient of the Order of Excellence from the National Quality Institute, and has been recognized as one of the Best Workplaces in Canada for 2011. Its parent company, Hill & Knowlton, Inc, is a world leader in PR and public affairs, with 80 offices in 44 countries, and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) (, one of the world’s largest communications services groups.