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H eath Applebaum

Prescription for Reputations

A Cure for Business Ailments

Heath Applebaum, is the President and Chief Reputation Officer of Echo Communications Inc., a reputation management consulting firm based in Toronto. 

His father, a lawyer, and mother, a professional sculptor, gave him both the creative flair and business acumen that has led him to curing the reputational ailments of over a dozen multinational companies and global brands. He developed his craft as a writer and storyteller and wanted to apply his talents to the business world.

“There are so many organizations that are misunderstood because of poor communications, and I wanted to help be part of the solution, bringing them the attention they deserved,” says Heath. His work was recognized in 2010 when he received a global Gold Quill award – the highest honour one can achieve in the PR industry worldwide.

Heath credits his time at Seneca to his success. “I chose Seneca because of its specialized focus on Corporate Communications,” he says. “The professors took a genuine interest in their students and the program helped me refine my thinking to succeed in public relations.”

Heath has built his personal brand by speaking at industry conferences around the world, teaching PR subjects at various Ontario Universities, and building corporate strategies for the likes of PepsiCo, Cadillac Fairview, Deloitte, MasterCard , RBC Financial Group, and the Canadian Diabetes Association. In 2014, Heath was featured in a new PR textbook entitled Canadian PR for the Real World, published by Pearson Education.

In the broad, ever-changing field of corporate communications, the ability to adapt and display a diverse skillset is instrumental to career success. Heath has showcased that type of versatility to his clients for over 20 years.

In today’s 24/7 digital world, where the click of a mouse or an online post from a smartphone can have an organization in immediate disarray, reputation management is truly at the heart of what Heath provides.

“No matter where you look these days, the headlines are dominated by organizations under attack,” says Heath. “The unfortunate thing is that much of the damage could have been avoided and crises can often be contained or prevented altogether.”

With Heath’s passion for his profession and impressive track record, his future continues to look bright. He enjoys teaching to both share his knowledge and learn from students in his classes he teaches. Heath hopes to one day have the opportunity to teach at Seneca, his old stomping grounds.

“I would strongly encourage prospective students to enrol in Corporate Communications. It’s an exciting career path,” says Heath. “I want students to realize that learning is a life-long process and this is a crucial first step. Most importantly, stay true to your values. Nothing is more significant than your personal and professional integrity.”