OTTAWA, June 13, 2019 – Hydro Ottawa’s Communications and Public Affairs team is the recipient of IABC Ottawa’s 2018/19 Communicator of the Year Award.

It is the first time in history that an entire team has been honoured with the award, which traditionally goes to an individual organizational leader who demonstrates excellence in communications.

“The Hydro Ottawa team is very deserving of the Communicator of the Year award given their outstanding communications efforts during the Ottawa-Gatineau tornadoes last September,” said Samantha Rae Ayoub, CMP, President of IABC Ottawa. “I’m proud of the talent we have here in Ottawa, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to extend our congratulations to the Hydro Ottawa team.”

During one of the worst local crises in recent memory, Hydro Ottawa kept the citizens of Ottawa and surrounding areas informed about the immediate impacts and what Hydro Ottawa and its partners were doing on the ground to ensure safety and restore power. The team heavily leveraged its social media channels to communicate with customers in real-time and respond to questions, while effectively using photos and video such as drone footage to convey the extent of the damage and recovery efforts.

In the aftermath of the tornadoes, Hydro Ottawa team members participated in multiple educational talks to share their crisis communications strategy and learnings with the wider public. This was a compelling example of using communications for good, engaging the community, and advancing the communications profession in the city – all criteria for the Communicator of the Year award.

“On a daily basis, the Communications and Public Affairs team deftly handles issues and deliverables that are many and varied,” said Susan Barrett, Manager of Communications at Hydro Ottawa. “When a crisis emerges and the demands and expectations reach new heights, the depth and breadth of the team’s talent, expertise, and commitment to our customers shines, every time. We are delighted to be recognized by IABC Ottawa.”

Past winners of the award include Cheryl Jensen, President of Algonquin College and the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, past Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier.

The Hydro Ottawa team will formally accept their award at the IABC Ottawa Summer Social & AGM on June 25, where they will also give the keynote address, sharing highlights from their crisis work and relaying advice to their fellow communicators. Tickets are on sale now for IABC members and members of the public.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a diverse global community of communication professionals who believe communications can be a force for good in business and society. IABC Ottawa is the hub of Ottawa’s creative professions community, connecting our professionals to opportunities, resources, best practices and people through professional development and a generous culture of sharing.