A self described "communication nerd", Russel believes in the importance of communicating better to improve customer and employee relationships. With 23 years of customer service experience and 12 years in communications (including 10 years leading organizations in social media) in private and government organizations, Russel has been leading engagement strategies and improving customer relationships for years. He's been recognized internationally for his work, including named “One of the Top 15 NPS and Customer Service Thought Leaders to Follow in 2017” by CustomerGauge, “One of Canada’s most influential experts on social media in the government sphere,” by Hootsuite and recognized as “Customer Service Thought Leader and Advocate” by Microsoft.
- Born and raised Canadian boy with a constant itch to travel the world.
- Is continually amazed if he doesn't have to explain what "Pickle Ball" is.
- Rarely kills plants.
- Loves the energy of speaking to a crowd.
- Jumped from a perfectly good airplane.
- Played drums in a high school karaoke version of Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"
Industry Expertise (9)
Public Relations and Communications
Professional Training and Coaching
Media - Broadcast
Writing and Editing
Areas of Expertise (14)
Customer Service & Customer Relations
Customer Service Excellence
Customer Service Best Practices
Government 2.0/Community Management
Customer Acquisition and Social Media
Social Media & Content Marketing for Business and Non-Profits
Social Media & Branding
Content and Media - the Future of Personalization
Social Media Customer Service in Government Leadership (professional)
Created the first social customer service team and lead the most engaged and furthest reaching social media presence in the BC government.
International Recognition for Customer Service (professional)
Identified as a customer communication leader by various global organizations, including:
- Recognized Customer Service Thought Leader and Advocate by Microsoft
- One of Canada’s most influential experts on social media in the government sphere. – Hootsuite
- Top 100 of Customer Service Pros on Twitter - Huffington Post
- Top 15 NPS and Customer Service Thought Leaders to Follow in 2017 - CustomerGauge
- Top 25 Customer Experience Leaders to Keep an Eye On in 2015 – Satmetrix
Travelled to 13 countries, including Greece, Costa Rica, Portugal, Germany, Dominican Republic, and am already planning those next adventures.
Royal Roads University: Bachelor, Professional Communications 2008
Received Founders' Award for exemplifying leadership, sustainability and personal development among graduates of the program.
British Columbia Institute of Technology: Diploma, Radio Broadcasting 2004
- Social Media Club - Victoria
- Odd Fellows of Victoria
Keegan Goodrich, Manager of Hockey Communications | Winnipeg Jets
“I use Russel’s communication ideas as great reminders to enhance customer service, which is the basis of good public relations.”
Chris Burdge, Founder | SOHOVictoria and Social Media Camp
“Event producers live or die by the content of our events. So when we re-invite speakers back for a second and third year, you know they’ve got to be good. Not only have we asked Russ to speak at multiple Social Media Camp events, but I also asked him to speak at the inaugural SOHO Victoria event. Russ is always among the highest rated speakers by delegates. If you are looking for a dynamic, professional speaker on the topic of customer service or anything related to it, look no further. Russ is your man!”
Jody Matheson, Organizer | Tweetstock Social Media Conference
"We organize Tweetstock in order to bring the best speakers available to our audience. We have been privileged to host some of the top social media influencers and speakers. I would add Russel to that list of unforgettable presenters and would not hesitate to have Russel speak again at future events."
Christine Lewis, Event Manager | Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
"Russel provided an excellent workshop to our members on improving your business’ customer service through social media. We would definitely recommend him as presenter for other Chambers and organizations."
Maureen Sheehan, Director of Sales, Marketing & Communications | BC Transit
“We used his recommendations to guide us through our steep learning curve. Russel knows his stuff and delivers. I recommend him for your communications project.”
Judy Bounds, Marketing & Communications Director | The Weather Network
“He provided strategic council for the development of a social media plan…and unique social media ideas and opportunities to support The Weather Network. Russel is highly recommended.”
John Mardlin, Event Organizer/Director of Business Development, Structur3D Printing | TEDxJuaneDeFuca
"I'm so glad to have had Russ as the Emcee at this event. He brings a warm, humorous and intelligent presence to the stage, that manages to connect authentically with the audience. Russ was also able to make me feel relaxed knowing that he understood the time constraints for each speaker and the event over all, and was able to keep things moving smoothly. I've also attended presentations by Russ at other times. He is a very talented and professional speaker/MC, that I would recommend to any event organizer."
Gillian Dolding, Sales and Marketing Lead | Hoyne Brewing Co.
“I loved working with Russel. The social media strategy and consultation he provided for our Hoyne’s Dark Matter launch had real, tangible results, increasing foot traffic to our event by 20%. I’d highly recommend him.”
Jamie Gale, Event Organizer/Mortgage Planner at TMG The Mortgage Group | Victoria Odd Fellows
"Russel did an amazing job emceeing our charity golf event. I will definitely approach him to host again next year and I would highly recommend him to others. Professional, engaging, funny, relaxed and with a great understanding of the intent of the event, he was great at keeping the night on track, reading and playing with the crowd, setting the right tone, working with me through out the night to tweak and share information to the attendees as needed and providing valuable suggestions from his own experience…it all really added to the evening and helped in its success. I’ve seen Russel emcee at other events as well and he consistently delivers every time.”
Media Appearances (1)
Did I endorse a miracle diet on Twitter? - Roseman
Toronto Star print
After endorsing a miracle diet product through fake tweets, reporter Ellen Roseman changed her Twitter log-in and realized the need to pay attention at all times at the unscrupulous practices of some companies.
Event Appearances (9)
Shifting Culture and Selling Social – How to encourage internal support for new forms of engagement
Social Media Camp Victoria, BC
T.U.R.N. Up Your Social Customer Service
TweetStock Hamilton, ON
Small Business Customer Service Panel
SOHOVictoria Victoria, BC
Finding Your Voice: Branding and Your Social Media Strategy
Sales & Marketing Executives Victoria Speaker Series Victoria, BC
T.U.R.N. Up Your Social Customer Service
Speaker Series - Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Victoria, BC
Online Work, Offline Career: How Using Social Media Can Help You Get the Job You Want
UVIC Co-op Career Services University of Victoria
TEDxJuanDeFuca Victoria, BC
IOOF 2014 Charity Golf Tournament Olympic View Golf Course
Unity Ball - "Masquerade" Odd Fellows Hall, Victoria, BC
Sample Talks (1)
Culture Change: How to Sell Social
Exploring the understanding and strategies necessary to encourage your organization to adopt and accept new social practices with take-aways you can use for your organization.
- Workshop Leader
- Corporate Training