Ms. Diane Bégin

Vice President, Social Marketing and Brand Communications, ruckus Digital / APEX Public Relations

Agency-side strategic communications practitioner and instructor at the University of Toronto


ruckus makers Fort McMurray wildfire mainstream media

In May 2016, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) was hit with a wildfire, which resulted in the largest insured disaster in Canadian history. More than 90,000 individuals were evacuated from the City of Fort McMurray and were not able to return for a month. Jordan Redshaw and Robin Smith from the RMWB and Diane Bégin from APEX PR / ruckus Digital speak about their experiences on the ground in a panel moderated by managing partner Ken Evans at our third ruckus makers.

ChangeCamp Edmonton @ Pecha Kucha

Diane Begin & David Cournoyer present ChangeCamp Edmonton 2009 at Peka Kucha 5, themed "Old School." ChangeCampis a participatory and web-enabled face-to-face event that brings together citizens, policy-makers, technologists, design-thinkers, change agents and media creators to answer one question: How do we re-imagine government and citizenship in the age of participation?

Why public relations and content marketing are part of the same revolution

Financial Post, August 5, 2017Print


“Public relations professionals are the original content marketers,” Diane Begin says. “We’ve been doing that for more than 100 years, but people have just changed what it’s called. Ultimately, we’ve always been the ones tasked with connecting audiences with subject matter experts and creating content, whether that would be a news release, a story in a newsletter, a speech or a web page. That’s always been our job.”

Recap Postmedia Content Works at #FFWD2016
by Derek Chezzi, Darin Diehl, Joe Chidley, Josh Merchant, Diane Bégin
APEX Public Relations

Recap of a Friday, January 29, 2016 talk about content marketing at Ad Week #FFWD2016.

Canadian Public Relations Society National Webinar
by Diane Bégin, APR and Jordan Redshaw
CPRS National

Social Media/Crisis Communications

Rethinking the R.A.C.E. model for a social media world

Published by Journal of Professional Communications

This practical paper offers a method for the development of a social media strategy for organizations—and especially to organizations in crisis. The authors argue that traditional models for communications planning, like the RACE formula, must be updated to embrace a new environment characterized by the democratizing force of social media, and more specifically, the ways in which the power to frame an issue have shifted. Rather than a linear formula, the authors advance an iterative methodology for communications planning that involves a multi-faceted qualitative and quantitative research program, which is grounded by the principle that a social strategy should always remain in beta. The authors conclude that social media are an invaluable resource for organizations to deliver on offline goals and are especially relevant to communications professionals during times of crisis.



A seasoned communications practitioner, Diane Begin has worked in communications in both agency and client-side environments in eastern and western Canada. Begin teaches digital and social media at the University of Toronto. Her award-winning career includes work with clients such as Walmart Canada, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (i.e. City of Fort McMurray), RSA Canada, Johnson Insurance, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, Elections Ontario, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, just to name a few. Begin is a graduate of NAIT, the University of Lethbridge, and the University of Alberta, where in 2010 she attained a Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (research focused on blogger trust). That same year she also secured an Accreditation in Public Relations. Begin is an active volunteer, having served on the board of the Canadian Public Relations Society Edmonton Chapter for five years, and the past president of the Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto Chapter. She is a research committee member reviewing proposals for academic study in the area of communications for the Communications + Public Relations Foundation. Begin has also been published in the Journal of Professional Communications.


President, Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto | Professional

President of the local chapter from 2015-2016, board member in various capacities for 5 years previously

Additional Titles and Affiliations

Accredited in Public Relations (APR)

Past Talks

Communicating during the Fort McMurray wildfire crisis

CPRS Edmonton Professional Development Session

Edmonton, AB, April 21, 2017

Communicating during the Fort McMurray wildfire crisis

Global Business: Lead Communication—Make Real Impact IABC World Conference #IABC17

Washington, DC, June 12, 2017


  • Social & Digital Media
  • Rural upbringing
  • Internal Communicatons
  • Crisis and Issues Management
  • Crisis Communication and Issues Management
  • Corporate Communications
  • Communications
  • Communications Strategy


  • University of Alberta
    Communications and Technology
    Master of Arts in Communications and Technology, 2010

  • The University of Lethbridge
    Bachelor of Management
    Marketing focus, 2001

  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
    Business Administration
    Marketing, 1997