Robert Waite
Robert Waite is one of North America’s foremost experts in the fields of communications and stakeholder relations. Mr. Waite is a professor at Seneca College and serves as Managing Director of Waite + Co., a firm specializing in communications strategy and advice with offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Boston. He has led, modernized and transformed communications, government relations, marketing, donations, sponsorship, CSR and investor relations functions at companies as diverse as IBM, Ford, CAE, CIBC and Canada Post Corporation.

He is also a widely published travel writer.

Earlier in his career Mr. Waite served as Press Secretary to Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts and Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. While working for Senator Dole he wrote the speech nominating George H.W. Bush for vice-president of the United States, delivered at the Republican National Convention in Detroit.

Mr. Waite served as Vice President, Public Affairs at the Export-Import Bank of the United States during the Reagan Administration. Prior to entering government service, Mr. Waite was an award-winning journalist and writer, including three New England Journalism Association best columnist awards. He served as national political correspondent for Pacific New Service (PNS), covering the 1976 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries and the general election. He subsequently was assigned as PNS’ East European correspondent, based in Warsaw, Poland.

Mr. Waite continues to write and publish on topics of business leadership, politics and education and also delivers speeches and lectures to academic and general audiences.

Mr. Waite is Chair of the Canadian Stamp Advisory Committee; a Trustee of Hebron Academy; and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

He is past Chair of the Ottawa Liaison Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; past Chair of the CIBC YouthVision Scholarship Committee; served on two United Way of Greater Toronto campaign cabinets (1993 and 2002); past Treasurer of the Canadian Science Writers Association; a past Board member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; past member of the Senate Press Secretaries Association; past member of the Parents Advisory Committee at Carleton College (2010 -13) and the Parents Advisory Committee at UCLA (2012-14); and served as Employer Representative at the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland (1982).

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Waite received his undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he majored in European social history. He holds certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility (University of Toronto, 2009); Theory and Practice of Investor Relations (University of Michigan, 1995); and Marketing (Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, 1989).

Mr. Waite holds dual Canadian – U.S. citizenship.

Entries by Robert Waite

Are We Becoming Increasingly Inconsiderate?

(9) Comments | Posted March 28, 2017 | 12:52 PM

It might have been my dentist; or perhaps a fine dining establishment.

One or the other was the first, fifteen years ago, to phone to confirm an appointment (or dinner reservation).

At the time, it seemed a little odd, but only mildly annoying.

And that's how it began...

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Spotlight On TD's Selling Tactics Threatens To Unravel Its Brand

(44) Comments | Posted March 13, 2017 | 10:32 AM

Each semester, I ask my public relations graduate students to follow a company or institution in the news.

Their choices are perhaps predictable, given that the point of the exercise is to better understand how a company handles media adversity.

Volkswagen; Bombardier; Air Canada; Wells Fargo; CBC -- all of...

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Barbados - Land Of Sun, Sand, Surf And A Canadian Super Gun

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2017 | 9:37 AM

Most people come to Barbados for sand, surf and sun.

I ended up searching for a Super Gun.

Designed and built in the 1960s by a Canadian ballistics engineering genius named Gerald Bull, the massive artillery piece today sits rusting amid encroaching foliage, on the island's southeast corner, just down...

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Let's Give Leonard Cohen A Literal Stamp Of Approval

(26) Comments | Posted February 21, 2017 | 5:31 AM

I recently did a bad bad thing.

It happened at McGill University in Montreal. I was delivering a speech to about 200 people in my capacity as Chair of the Canadian Stamp Advisory Committee -- the folks who propose topics and subjects for Canada's postage stamps.

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Should We Feel Sorry For Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer?

(99) Comments | Posted February 6, 2017 | 7:02 AM

For a brief moment I was actually starting to feel sorry for Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's White House Press Secretary.

Not only had he gotten off to the worst start as a press secretary in recorded history, but his most staunch defender, Trump White House Counselor...

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Thinking Of Picking Up A New Car In Europe? No Big Savings (But Fun!)

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2016 | 4:21 PM

Ever toyed with the idea of picking up a new car at the factory in Europe and touring around for a few weeks? Or did you assume that was something from a by-gone era?

In truth, it is mostly a thing of the past. In 1956 Motor Trend magazine listed...

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A World Of Self-Driving Cars Is Inevitable (And That's OK)

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2016 | 7:34 AM

I like to actively drive, not just aim down a highway.

This goes back. My Dad insisted I learn on a manual. It took a little more effort, but it paid off.

When I was 18, I was plucked out of a crew to drive Steve McQueen to...

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Millennials Will Decide Fate Of Film Festivals In Digital Age

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2016 | 4:13 PM

toronto film festival audience
The audience at the 'Hellbenders' premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. (Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

For film festivals, you could say these are the best of times and the worst of times. Call this story a Tale of Two...

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Why Can't Canadian Expats Vote Forever (Like Americans)?

(66) Comments | Posted October 11, 2016 | 12:06 PM

I have lived in Canada for 30 years and have never missed a U.S. election.

Indeed, I have already voted this year, casting my ballot electronically in the town of Ipswich, Massachusetts, from my home computer keyboard in Ottawa, Ontario.

Until recently the process was much more cumbersome -- your...

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Using Humour In Speeches Is Often No Laughing Matter

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2016 | 6:31 AM

It is often said that people fear public speaking more than death - which once prompted Jerry Seinfeld to quip that most individuals would apparently prefer lying in a casket... to standing over it, delivering a eulogy.

Given a choice, it is doubtful that you would actually...

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Sunny Ways And Sunny Days May Soon Darken For Justin Trudeau

(142) Comments | Posted September 6, 2016 | 10:17 AM

There is no other way to describe it -- Justin Trudeau has been a public relations superstar from the very moment he took office as prime minister almost a year ago.

As one who teaches a graduate course in public relations (and has been a PR practitioner for more than...

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Tragically Hip Stamp Confirms Gord Downie's A National Treasure

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2016 | 3:04 PM

For more than a century, Canada Post, as a matter of policy, did not depict living individuals on its postage stamps.

The one exception was the U.K.'s reigning monarch of the day -- HRM Queen Elizabeth -- for all of this century and for much of last.

Canada Post did...

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Toronto Maple Leaf Fans, Be Careful What You Wish For

(3) Comments | Posted June 20, 2016 | 4:48 PM

The stars seem to be aligning for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they head into their 100th anniversary season.

The team won the NHL lottery and will have the first draft pick on Friday. In coach Mike Babcock, GM Lou Lamoriello and President Brendan Shanahan they have arguably...

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A Spur-Of-The-Moment Decision Turned Me Canadian

(8) Comments | Posted May 27, 2016 | 11:10 AM

Exactly 30 years ago I made a decision that changed my life forever. And I did it without giving it much thought.

I was working in Ford Motor Company's Washington, D.C., public affairs office. My boss was legendary journalist (and erstwhile presidential press secretary) Jerry terHorst.


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Honouring Star Trek's Canadian Connections, 50 Years Later

(3) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 12:10 PM

chris doohan stamp

Imagine having the set of the original Star Trek series as your own private playground as an eight- or nine-year-old.

Chris Doohan, son of the late James Doohan -- better known as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, chief engineer on the Starship Enterprise --...

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The Day Canada's Parliament Went Up In Flames

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 3:50 PM

Imagine this page from American history:

At a time of World War, Congress is in full debate on a cold and windy February evening. A note is handed to the Speaker of the House, leading him to pound his gavel and call his fellow representatives to immediate order.

"We must...

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'Green Banana' Dilemma: Should Seniors Curtail Purchases?

(2) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 2:26 PM

Recently I needed to renew my Canadian passport. To my surprise, I was given a choice: Renew for five years (Canada's customary period) for $120, or for ten years for $160.

Canada, I realized, had decided to follow the U.S. practice of granting ten-year passports. But, being Canada...

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Will Canada Be Awash With Americans If Trump Becomes President?

(126) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 12:43 PM

It happens every four years.

The United States holds a presidential election -- and many of its citizens claim they will move to Canada if one of the contenders is elected.

This year, with the advent of people like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the right (and Democrats Bernie...

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Canada Post Should Retain CEO Deepak Chopra

(19) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 2:42 PM

Normally at this time of year Canada Post volunteers -- referred to as "elves" -- are busily preparing responses to letters to Santa. Hundreds of thousands arrive at the HO-HO-HO postal code -- and the turnaround time is tight.

But this December a particularly abrupt letter arrived at Canada Post's...

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How to Finance Your Bucket-List Vacation Before You Kick the Bucket

(1) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 8:46 AM

When you are in the wealth-creation phase of life, discipline is critical. You may secretly lust after an F-Type Jaguar, but prudence prevails and you select a Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry, knowing that the 70 grand or so you are saving can instead be plowed into an investment that...

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