Playbook is a public relations and public affairs agency. We help leading organizations tell their stories. Based in Toronto and Ottawa, Playbook manages the perception of brands and issues among the people our clients care about most.
Playbook’s team sets it apart. We’re a smart, dynamic group of modern professionals. We know politics and government and how to work with traditional and social media. We love all things digital, can run research to answer the big questions and supply meaningful monitoring tools.
Our collective experience ensures our counsel makes a difference: we’ve worked at all three levels of government, on political campaigns big and small, in the country’s newsrooms, and in some of Canada’s largest companies.
- Superb client service
- Smart, honest counsel
- Exceptional program delivery
- Measurable results
- Value-based pricing
Amanda Galbraith is the Account Director. Based in Toronto, she joined Team Playbook in 2008. Amanda provides strategic communications, media relations and government relations support to leading organizations across a range of sectors, as well as government and industry associations.
Amanda is a skilled writer with a love of the written word. From web copy to media releases, she has scripted galas and conferences and written speeches for industry leading CEO’s and cabinet ministers. Amanda also specializes in digital marketing and social media strategies. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University.
Before coming to Playbook, Amanda held a range of communications, writing and event planning positions over five years within the federal government. Amanda has worked for the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Prime Minister of Canada, the President of the Treasury Board and as Deputy Director of Communications for the Minister of the Environment.
Jessica Georgakopoulos is a Strategist at Playbook. Jessica joined the Playbook team in 2012, where she provides media relations, public affairs, strategic and crisis communications support to leading organizations.
Having worked in fast-paced offices for four years, Jessica brings a wide variety of communications skills to the Playbook team. She is a skilled issues manager, event planner, writer and media relations specialist.
Jessica served as a communications advisor, issues manager, and official spokesperson for Canada’s Minister of State for Democratic reform and Minister of State for Transport. She also worked for the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park in the communications and policy and research offices and on various election campaigns.
Jessica holds an Honours Bachelor degree in Media studies from the University of Guelph and a diploma in Public Relations from Humber College.
Mike Van Soelen is the founder and President of Playbook. He created the company in 2007 to help leading organizations reach and engage their most important audiences.
Before creating Playbook, Mike spent 15 years working in communications and marketing, working both in the private sector and political realm. His previous posts have included Chief of Staff in the Ontario Government, Director of Communications in Ottawa and senior counsel at one of the country’s largest public relations firms. Mike’s track record speaks to his unique understanding of how brand messages properly delivered can facilitate concrete, measurable objectives.
Mike holds a Masters of Journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He lives with his family in Toronto.
Meaghan Rusnell is a Senior Strategist with Playbook. She has held a range of strategic positions within the Federal government and private sector where she has worked to implement tactical policies, procedures and action plans.
Rusnell worked as a Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament where she oversaw strategic operations – including writing speeches, Q&As, backgrounders; organizing technical information briefings on policies; and, co-ordinating stakeholder and constituent relations.
Working with Brock University, Rusnell co-ordinated several high-profile transformational capital projects that cut across multiple levels of government.
Rusnell holds a Bachelor in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph.
Clare Schulte-Albert is an Account Coordinator at Playbook. Clare divides her time between the Toronto and Ottawa offices, supporting the core team with research analysis and account management.
In Ottawa, she built her professional career on both the political and bureaucratic side of the Canadian government, engaging in policy planning and outreach at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and conducting strategic communications and research analysis at the House of Commons.
Prior to joining Playbook, Clare served on the executive of several political associations and she was the deputy managing editor for The Prince Arthur Herald, Canada’s largest student-run newspaper. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa and is a master’s graduate of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto
Erik Waddell is a Senior Strategist based in Ottawa. Having held director-level positions with Cabinet Ministers at Industry Canada, Health Canada, and at the Treasury Board, Erik brings to the table a wealth of expertise on the inner workings of the federal government.
With a background in media and communications as well as policy development and parliamentary procedure, Erik offers unique and valuable insight on public affairs and communications for Playbook’s clients. With a talent for distilling complex issues down to their essence, whether for high-level briefings, detailed analysis, or his newspaper columns, Erik helps bring focus and direction to public affairs and communications strategies.
Danna O’Brien is an Associate with Playbook, combining 20 years of media and government experience to provide strategic communications, media relations, issues management and event support to a range of public and private sector clients across Canada. Danna has been an important contributor to the Playbook team since 2009.
After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with an Honours degree in History, Danna went on to become an awarding winning radio broadcast journalist.
Danna then moved to the other side of the microphone, serving as a Senior Communications Advisor to four Ontario cabinet ministers at the Ministries of Transportation, Citizenship and Immigration, and Economic Development and Trade. In these roles Danna was responsible for the development and execution of comprehensive communications plans and the management of emerging issues. Her strategic communications abilities were recognized for excellence and on-target media coverage both inside and outside of government.