ABOUT CHRIS DORNAN

“Choose a job you love , and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  – Confucius.

Chris Dornan has come a long way from his days of play-by-play commentary of the games and exploits of his siblings and friends on a quiet cul-de-sac in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to becoming Canada’s most prolific sports PR consultant. The common thread? Storytelling. And creativity. FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS, CHRIS HAS SPECIALIZED IN WORKING WITH CORPORATIONS, AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, SPORT ORGANIZATIONS, AND EVENTS IN CANADA AND THE U.S. A FIVE-TIME OLYMPIC AND TWO-TIME PARALYMPIC MEDIA ATTACHÉ, CHRIS LAUNCHED HIS OWN CONSULTING COMPANY – HIGH-PERFORMANCE PUBLIC RELATIONS – IN 2008. Originally focused on providing media relations support to six of Canada’s winter and summer sport organizations, Chris’ reputation for creativity,

relationship-building, and RESULTS has led to the growth of HPPR’s portfolio of clients to include Own The Podium – who priorities investment strategies to deliver more Olympic and Paralympic medals for Canada – and two of the PGA TOUR’s leading Champions Tour events – Insperity Invitational in The Woodlands, Texas; and Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary. In HPPR, Chris marries his passion for sports with his journalism degree and PR experience with Golf Canada, CODA (now WinSport), and sports-marketing agency Thornley Fallis to deliver world-class, results-driven communications counsel and campaigns to his clients. Find out more about how Chris and HPPR can deliver podium performances from your communications campaigns – read about past campaigns, or contact him directly.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“For Christmas 2015, WestJet set out an ambitious goal of performing 12,000 random acts of kindness, while also taking Santa to five major cities across the country in 24 hours. We also had a lofty goal of sharing this unique story with as many people as we could across Canada, and around the world. We engaged Chris and High-Performance Public Relations to help us achieve this. Chris not only made it happen, he performed a mini-media-miracle of his own. From live TV and radio morning shows to print, magazine and online coverage, Chris exceeded our expectations by delivering unprecedented national media coverage in every corner of the country.”

Corey Evans
| Manager, Sponsorship & Community Investment, WestJet

“Rarely do I get to work alongside consummate professionals who are the very top of their game at all times: Chris is one such individual. He is experienced, intuitive, strategic and personable. I have engaged him for his skill with everyone from athletes to managers to CEOs. He knows how to create messages and communicate through stories in a compelling way that delivers results. He uniquely combines this skill with top caliber issue and crisis communications skills. I will gladly work with Chris again and recommend him anytime, anywhere to anyone seeking high-performance communications.”

Renee Smith-Valade
| VP Communications, Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, VP Inflight Service, Air Canada

“Chris is one of the most consummate, knowledgeable and savvy communication professionals I have ever worked with.  He is a strategic thinker who has an uncanny ability to stay ahead of potential issues in today’s challenging media environment.  Chris is a superb relationship builder who prides himself on always delivering to a gold standard for his clients.  Trustworthy, loyal, dependable, passionate and grounded in integrity are characteristics of Chris Dornan.  He brings a values based approach in working with his clients, crafting strategies and approaches that are customized to the situation, the environment and the preferred outcome.  Chris is relentless in his quest for excellence and brings this approach to everything he does.”

Anne Merklinger
| CEO, Own the Podium

“Access and information. The two most critical components for media in telling a good story. And no one facilitates these essentials, helps us in doing our job the best we possibly can, than Chris Dornan.”

George Johnson
| Sports Columnist, Calgary Herald

“Over the past five years Chris Dornan has helped me create a brand throughout the Canadian community. Whether it be public speaking or the production of “We push stuff” video prior to the 2014 Olympics. During this creation he was always there to guide me through good times and bad in all facets of media. He is the best communications professional I have ever worked with.”

Jesse Lumsden
| Two-Time Olympic Bobsleigh Athlete, Retired CFL Player

“Haywood has been a proud sponsor of cross-country skiing since 2001.  Haywood is also very proud of the part it has played in growing the sport of cross-country skiing and athlete development in communities across Canada resulting in Olympic and World Cup medals as well as the international recognition of our cross-country athletes. 

 However, a corporate sponsorship is a two-way street.  From the sponsor’s perspective it is recognition and this can only be achieved through communication – the right kind of communication. Although Chris Dornan was contracted by CCC to do their Public Relations, he was astute enough to know what Haywood needed in terms of exposure to make the sponsorship a worthwhile investment. He has always been available to assist with press conferences, press releases, speeches, and corporate events.  His writing skills are exceptional as are his people skills. Chris is approachable, responsive, and generous with his knowledge and his time and the type of person you are just happy to be around.  You know he wants what is best for your company.”

Rob Blanchard
| CEO Haywood Securities

“The assistance provided to the Champions Tour’s media operations by Chris Dornan from High-Performance Public Relations during the Insperity Invitational in Houston, Texas, and the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Canada was invaluable to the media partners and corporate partners involved in each tournament. The level of exposure in each community leading up to, and during, each tournament was exceptional and could not have been achieved without Chris’ experience, diligence, patience and knowledge. The more exposure gained for communities which host a Champions Tour event increases the awareness in that community which, in turn, benefits directly from charitable funds raised during each event.”

Mark Williams
| Director of Communications & Public Relations, PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour

“Chris Dornan is a champion of Canada’s high performance athletes. Not only is he protective of their best interests, he is also aware of the enormous expectations that Canadians have of them. In that sense he helps our Olympians and Paralympians become both attractive and accountable to their followers.  

Over many years I have encountered Chris at countless World Cups, World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games at home and abroad. He is a lifeline for Canadians who want to connect with their favourite stars of sport.”

Scott Russell
| CBC Olympic Host

“There is no one better in the promotions/media relations game than Chris Dornan. He is wonderfully inventive (putting the Canadian luge team up for sale) and utterly tireless having worked Winter and Summer Olympics, World Cups, World championships even golf tournaments. Not only that, the guy enjoys being around the media, helping with story ideas, arranging interviews. If high-performance communications was a sport, Chris Dornan would own the podium.”

Al Maki
| Globe and Mail News and Sports, Calgary Bureau

“Chris was determined from day 1 of working with the Skeleton program to get this obscure sport on the map! Chris taught me everything I know today about managing myself as an athlete and as a public figure/role model for youth. His passion for amateur sport and the personal stories of each individual athlete have allowed Canada to feel like they know each athlete as they are cheering them on to victory or embracing them when they lose. I feel I owe so much of my success on and off the track to the dedication Chris had of supporting my Olympic dreams.”

Mellisa Hollingsworth
| Olympic Bronze Medallist, Skeleton

“As a member of the media I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chris on various projects over a number of years, and found him consistently professional, creative and very easy to work with… definitely one of the best!!”

Leslie Horton
| Global News Calgary Morning Show

“Chris Dornan is one of those rare individuals with uncanny ability to serve two masters: the publicity priorities of his athletes and sports organizations, the need of the media for quality stories. How does he do it? With a bedrock understanding of the organizations he works with and a deep respect and affection for the athletes. He knows their back stories. He knows what makes them tick. He knows what will make a compelling story. And he knows the journalists who will tell it best. We could use a whole lot more Chris Dornan in the world of sport, and for that matter, in politics, business and public affairs.”

Ken MacQueen
| Vancouver bureau chief, Maclean's

“I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with Chris for the past two decades. He is the consummate professional, providing information, and access to news makers when we need them. Chris is also proactive, suggesting story ideas that we often turn into informative, and entertaining segments on our program. Chris also has a great sense of humour, which is important in this business. I’m looking forward to fielding his story pitches for years to come.” 

Doug Dirks
| Host - the Homestretch - CBC Radio One, Calgary

“Over the years, I’ve come to know Chris as one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate in his field. He is also fast. Like, physically fast on his feet. At the 2012 Olympics in London, he tracked down a Canadian athlete who had wandered off the massive triathlon course after failing to finish, leading her all the way back to the waiting mob of Canadian journalists in the mixed zone. He stood nearby as she spoke — ready to facilitate through any rough patches, or tend to any of the athlete’s needs — and waited until the job was done to catch his breath.”

Sean Fitz-Gerald
| Toronto Star

“I can’t think of a better PR practitioner than Chris Dornan. He is truly a visionary in the sports communications business, combining creativity, versatility, flexibility, hard work and attention to detail. It’s rare that you find someone that excels in each of these categories. Chris also understands the corporate side, delivering exposure and value to a company’s sponsorship commitment.”

Phil Stambaugh
| Media Official, PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour

“Chris Dornan simply gets the media game. On any given day, hundreds of press releases land in my email box. I make sure to read every one from Chris. Same goes for his phone calls – every one is answered. Chris understands mutual trust is the key to successful media relations. He knows exactly where to pitch stories for maximum coverage. A true professional in every sense of the word.”

Vicki Hall
| Calgary Herald

“I trust Chris 1000% to help strategize and execute and on all of my PR/Media needs. He is so well respected and connected in the community and is really in tune with how to get a message out there. We had more than 400 registrants at my new gymnastics facility before we even opened our doors and that was large in part because of the PR plan that Chris implemented. If you want to make an impact, you need Chris on your team.”

Kyle Shewfelt
| Olympic Gold Medallist, Gymanstics, Owner Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics

Photos on this site courtesy of Todd Korol, Jeff McIntosh, Mike Ridewood, David Buston, Winsport Canada, Paul Lester, Charlie Booker, Jean Levac

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