Anstice Communications, a Calgary-based public relations firm, has taken the unique step in adding a professional expert in human behaviour to its team.
Dr. Mark Szabo has recently joined Anstice to lead the company’s new research and insights division.
“It means that we are the only firm in Calgary, arguably Western Canada, who is offering a psychological, sociological and data-driven program to uncover truths behind human behaviour that can help determine marketing communications investment, messaging and pretty much all downstream tactics,” says Sheenah Rogers-Pfeiffer, Founder and Chief Strategist of Anstice.
“Szabo has a unique background in law, marketing, and conflict management. He has a PhD in environmental conflict resolution, and he has worked on a confidential basis with a number of well-known energy companies. He adds two disciplines to the mix for Anstice: Behavioural insight research and stakeholder conflict engagement.”
Last year the company celebrated its 10th anniversary and has offices in both Calgary and Vancouver.
Rogers-Pfeiffer says Szabo’s role is to provide insight into what drives the behaviour of fans as well as detractors, and drive strategic planning that accounts for the realities of the human landscape facing client projects.
“Nothing is more important than understanding human behaviours and motivations. This goes beyond segmenting or demographic profiling. It’s identifying parallels amongst people and between people and companies that can ignite compassion, understanding and consideration,” she says.
“Anstice is reaping the benefits of merging the disciplines of PR and marketing into one approach that centres on driving customer meaning – even for companies who don’t think they have ‘customers’ in the traditional sense.
“By bringing the tools of marketing communications to reputation and crisis management, Anstice is getting traction with an entirely new suite of clients. The days of controlling the message and treating stakeholder engagement as damage control are long gone. By proactively understanding, engaging and persuading all the players who impact client projects, Anstice is helping change the approach of some very significant players.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.
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