James Canning is a communications and public affairs pro recognized by colleagues, members of the media, and onlookers for his enthusiastic spirit, relentless work ethic, and mission-driven approach to his craft.
His career began in the rough and tumble political landscape of Detroit, Michigan. While there, he worked with a couple of mayors, a county executive, and public relations agencies – including one he founded – to share information about government actions, manage political crises, drive results for philanthropic organizations, build audiences for major regional events, and help small businesses expand their brand recognition.
After more than 14 years of developing and implementing successful public relations, government affairs, and community engagement programs in his hometown, James moved to the Pacific Northwest. While there, he helped Seattle’s transit agency win a $54 billion ballot measure to expand their regional transportation system. He provided communications counsel to Gonzaga University and directed teams in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana for major brands such as FedEx, Bank of America, Walgreens, Accenture, and T-Mobile.
In 2019, James moved to California for the weather and then went to work building an entire communication team and office from scratch for a rising star of San Diego’s Democratic Party. With James’ help the County Supervisor was selected to Chair of the Board of Supervisors twice, became the most media-accessible elected official in town and one of the most well-known elected leaders in San Diego and the state of California.
In 2023, to feed his passion for making meaningful connections with people, particularly reporters, James launched Flack Talk. It is a podcast featuring one-on-one interviews with journalists from San Diego and across the nation. #FlackTalk's target audiences are PR pros and aspiring flacks, green journalists and seasoned scribes, opinion leaders and elected officials.
Throughout his more than 20 years in communications and public affairs, James has earned the respect of his colleagues by always striving to perform better than he did the day before. He has won multiple professional awards and earned a reputation as a straight shooter and consummate professional everywhere he has worked. He is pleased to have earned that reputation.
James is a proud graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit and, during his free time, enjoys exercise, making art, cooking, and baking. James is a resident of San Diego’s Banker’s Hill neighborhood.