How did I get here? One thing is for sure and that is that nothing foretold a career in communications consultancy when I graduated as a criminologist in 1999. Life is full of unexpected pivots, however, and I have not regretted a single moment leaving the Belgian Defense Department to work as a junior lobbyist for the Belgian public postal operator in 2002.
Actually, working in-house at the public company that is now called bpost was not yet the final destination for me. It is there that I met and discovered the work of consultants who assisted bpost in the professionalizing and streamlining of both its internal and external communications. It quickly became clear to me that that would be what I was going to pursue: being a consultant to professional communicators.
I have since 2007 not worked in any other field than communications consultancy. In Belgium, I was a consultant with akkanto (2007 – 2011), and a senior consultant and then managing consultant with FINN (2012 – 2015), both tier 1 independent Brussels PR agencies. In 2015, I moved from Belgium to Austin (TX), where I have been a VP and Partner at Swyft, an Austin based B2B PR firm, till 2019.
Today, I run my own consultancy practice called Detavernier Strategic Communication. My core expertise lies in corporate communication, content marketing, public relations, corporate branding and crisis communications. I have serviced clients in sectors as diverse as energy, tech, food, entertainment, banking, insurance, construction and professional services. My experience counseling clients on many different tracks, in many different sectors, allows me to propose a host of solutions that are both mutually reinforcing and unbound by a vision that is constrained by what is “done” in any given sector.
In addition to consulting, I am also an experienced trainer. I have over the last ten years trained more than 500 C-level executives helping them communicate their messages clearly and effectively through media and presentation skills trainings.
I hold both APR (PRSA) and SCMP (IABC) accreditations and am happy to be actively involved in the organizations that award the accreditations, as a treasurer with PRSA Austin and as a member of the GCCC that governs the (S)CMP accreditations program for IABC.
- Founder and Principal of Detavernier Strategic Communication (2015 – present)
- Senior Consultant, then Managing Consultant with FINN (2011-2015)
- Consultant with akkanto (2007-2011)
- Institutional Relations Expert with bpost (2002-2005)
- Analyst with Belgian Defense Department (2000-2002)
- How communications practitioners can put the scientific insights to work by Jo Detavernier in Handbook of Crisis Communications by W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2020. (forthcoming)
- Five questions to consider before embracing corporate activism by Jo Detavernier in Corporate Activism by Ana Adi (ed.) Quadriga University, 2019
- Mijn Amerika, Jo Detavernier (ed). Pelckmans, 2012.
- De sekten als nieuwe dreigen: inlichtingendiensten tussen staatsgevaar en moral panic by Jo Detavernier in De Staatsveiligheid: essays over 175 jaar Veiligheid van de Staat by Marc Cools and Paul Ponsaers (eds.), Politeia, 2005.