Diamond Marketing Group has added PR to its capabilities and added two former leaders from Eighty-Eight Creative to lead the division.
Wendy Bairos (above) has been hired as group head of PR, while Jenna Illies has been named PR strategist.
Bairos has more than 17 years of PR experience, including 12 years in increasingly senior communications roles at Google. She also spent two years as director of media relations and communications for Toronto software company Hubba, and with the PR shop Pilot PMR.
Illies (right) spent the first nine years of her career working as a publicist in the book industry, working for publishers including Key Porter Books and ECW Press, before moving into more traditional PR roles—working with top-tier brands in the toy, beauty and baby categories.
Diamond CEO David Diamond called the addition of PR a “natural progression” for the 13-year-old agency, which operates divisions for strategy, creative, content, experiential, sponsorship, influencer, design and data. The model allows Diamond to provide clients with access to thought leaders in each area as the need arises.
Max Valiquette, who joined Diamond as its first chief strategy officer in May, called the launch of PR an “exciting development” that enables the agency to integrate earned media execution and consultancy to its suite of services, bolstering its proposition to the market.
The family-owned agency has a staff of approximately 120 people, and has worked with a disparate group of brands including TD Bank, General Mills, Hershey’s, HBC and the LCBO.