“It’s simply impossible to be a good leader if you can’t communicate well. CEOs and their organizations need to work even harder on communication because many workers are talking less, while texting and emailing much more.” - Grant Ainsley

Grant Ainsley

Leadership, Communications and Public Relations Expert

Grant Ainsley is a keynote, workshop and training facilitator on the topics of leadership communication, public relations, media relations and social media solutions. Grant Ainsley has worked with politicians, CEO’s, association leaders and people from dozens of professions to make them better communicators. Whether he was preparing them for interviews with the news media, or to speak to board members and staff, he has used the knowledge gained over the past 40 years to make them better at saying the right thing at the right time. Grant Ainsley is an award-winning journalist and public relations professional from Edmonton. He has interviewed Wayne Gretzky, John Candy, Jean Chretien, Rick Hansen and many other news makers. He entertains audiences with some great stories that illustrate the necessary steps every company needs to take to protect and enhance their brand.

Grant Ainsley is the author of The Honest Spin Doctor, a book that provides a road map to effective media relations for people who speak to the news media and the companies they work for. Ainsley speaks about the need for organizations of all sizes to be more concerned about their corporate brand and to be aware of the impact on it, should something go wrong. He talks about how companies need to change to take the necessary steps to protect their brands before bad things happen to them. Just as importantly, he talks about the need for companies and their leaders to learn how to react and what to say, if they do find themselves in the media for the wrong reasons. He preaches why taking responsibility, being organized and showing you’re real are the most important things in any crisis. With the impact of social media and other forms of technology, the stakes are higher than ever for companies and their leaders. Grant Ainsley’s sessions provide vital information for leaders of all kinds to protect their companies, brands and their futures.

Ainsley spent 15 years in the news media in Edmonton as a radio news anchor, talk show host and reporter.  He then served as a spokesperson for the City of Edmonton, commenting on issues related to roadway construction, waste management and water quality and conservation. He also spoke on behalf of the Alberta’s $12 billion housing industry as CEO of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. Grant Ainsley lives in Edmonton with his wife Deborah and their four children.

Topic Presentations

It’s simply impossible to be a great leader if you can’t communicate well. Excelling in communication is consistently one of the highest-rated traits of great leaders, but unfortunately communication skills are not inherited, or often taught in business school.

Organizations also feel the pain. One study reported that poor communication in a company with 100 employees costs $525,000 a year. Poor direction from leaders and disjointed communication between their employees results in huge costs for any organization.

CEOs and their organizations need to work even harder on communication because many workers are talking less, while texting and emailing much more. It’s getting more difficult to get many employees, especially younger ones, to communicate face-to-face.

Grant Ainsley’s keynote presentation shows leadership teams the secrets to communicating effectively, resulting in better bottom lines. He talks about the key traits of leaders who communicate well and how to prepare for, and have important and real conversations with employees, customers and others. He’ll provide immediate takeaways to allow CEOs and their organizations to start talking again, building trust and getting results.

As more young people enter the workforce who have spent most of their lives involved in social media, email and texting, getting teams to communicate is becoming more challenging and it won’t get any easier in the next decade.

Here are some of the issues addressed in Ainsley’s presentation:


  • Why managers need to learn “it’s not all about them”

  • The importance of leading teams and saying what needs to be said, but doing it without attitude or a big ego

  • Why good listeners are good communicators

  • Ways to control conversations by asking questions

  • How to prepare for, and have difficult conversations

  • Ways to improve body language

  • How to adjust your style, but not your message

  • Ways to build “cultures of communication”.

There’s never been a time that companies are in greater danger of having something go wrong in social media and having their brand and reputation damaged so badly it will take years to recover.

Despite that, too few business leaders are overly concerned about the dangers lurking in the social media use of their employees. 70% of employees are on at least one social media site every day. One embarrassing Facebook post, or piece of video on YouTube can send companies scrambling to explain and recover. Ask yourself what you would do if it happened to you.

We’re also seeing the first wave of people entering the workforce who’ve been involved in social media for most of their lives. They’re friends and followers of many of their customers. The coming years will bring more challenges related to social media as young workers integrate into the system and use social media to communicate and express opinions.

Grant Ainsley is one of Canada’s top media trainers and a former award-winning journalist. He’s discovered that only a fraction of companies are fully prepared to stop something bad from happening to them in social media and understand what they should say to the news media if it does. To make matters worse, many don’t have written procedures in place to deal with consumer complaints made in social media. Ainsley’s presentation will result in companies understanding the risks they face and how to minimize them, reducing stress, embarrassment and potentially saving big dollars. He’ll also look into the future and let you know what you need to prepare for. Grant Ainsley will teach you to learn how to bulletproof your brand and avoid a social media meltdown.

In Ainsley’s engaging keynote presentation, you’ll learn:


  • What can happen to employees and the companies they work for when offensive social media posts go viral

  • How to put policies in place to lessen the chances of it happening to you

  • Ways to handle difficult situations in the media if you become a victim of a social media meltdown

  • How to effectively handle consumer complaints in social media

  • Why young workers may provide more challenges than you expect.

While many people may be good at managing their personal Facebook accounts, few of the organizations they work for are doing social media properly, even though it’s the biggest marketing tool ever.

Most companies and associations are only scratching the surface when it comes to their social media activity and it shows in the results they’re getting. It’s not just about getting more likes and follows, it’s about using social media and other forms of digital media to increase engagement and get results.

There’s a clear link between your website, blog and social media activity. They all have their roles and fit together to produce incredible results that can add to your profile and influence, while also saving rime.

Grant Ainsley’s keynote presentation gives organizations simple, but powerful tactics to use immediately to connect with more people, save time, measure results and benefit their bottom lines. Each presentation is customized to the group he’s speaking to. Ainsley’s presentation gives organizations road maps to follow to increase their social media engagement, allowing them to have better interaction with customers and members. It will force you to look at how you communicate now and how you can do it better.

In his presentation you’ll learn:


  • How to think like a reporter to tell your story effectively to your audience

  • Which social media platforms organizations should use and which ones to stop wasting time on

  • How effective a blog can be to help with engagement and build your brand

  • Why your “list” is one of the most important tools you have and how to leverage it

  • Ways to produce and use video, at a fraction of today’s cost

  • How to sell products and services online

  • Ways to track and measure your progress

Unlike public relations and marketing firms, when you hire Grant to do media training, you don’t get a company with big overheads and you don’t deal with different people. You deal directly with Grant from start to finish and I’m the one who does the training.

Grant has worked in the media for 15 years in roles ranging from reporter and anchor, to talk show host, to News and Public Affairs Director and Assignment Editor. He has done media training and spoken about the media across Canada for the past decade.

His corporate media training sessions are usually a day or half-day in length. They include a presentation to let participants know how the media works and ways they can thrive in any media situation.

We then work on developing key messages that your people and organization can use in actual media interviews. Finally, Grant assumes the role of a reporter and conduct interviews on camera to put everything taught into practice, followed by a critique. This is only the way it's normally done.
Your people will learn a new skill, it’s great for team building and they’ll enjoy the day. Most importantly, they’ll be much more knowledgeable and comfortable the next time they face the media.

He is the only media trainer in Canada who’s a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), that has a Code of Ethics for all members to provide assurance to you when you hire me. Grant gives back to the speaking industry by serving on the national Board of Directors for CAPS. He also the only Canadian media trainer whose media training course has received Gold Seal Certification from the Canadian Construction Association.

Grant is the only media trainer in Canada that offers you the following:



  • An in-person or video conference meeting to plan and customize the session to you and your organization

  • An introductory video for each client to let participants know what to expect from the media training session

  • Everyone receives a signed copy of my book The Honest Spin Doctor

  • Participants receive a downloadable version of Grant Ainsley’s Media Training Manual with sample communications and social media policies

  • A DVD containing all interviews is provided to the organizer

  • Up to three hours of free consultation after the training just in case you have an issue you need to focus on and need my help

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Language Spoken

English

Travels From

Edmonton, Alberta

The Honest Spin Doctor

Every week, thousands and thousands of people speak to the news media. Some do it almost every day and understand the rules of engagement when dealing with the media, but for others who only face reporters from time to time, the experience can be daunting. Finding out the proper way to do handle media appearances and do interviews with reporters has been difficult - until now.

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