SAN FRANCISCO: Fiona Story has joined Sonder, the short-term apartment-rental company, as head of global communications.
Previously, she worked at the Canada-based financial company Fairstone, where she was VP of corporate affairs and culture. She continues to be based in Montreal. Fairstone is looking to fill Story’s prior position.
At Sonder, Story is overseeing global internal and external communications in 35 markets and eight countries. The apartment-hotel company manages rentals in North America, Europe and Dubai. She is reporting to Melika Carroll, VP of corporate affairs.
Story has also worked as senior director of communications at pharmaceutical company Duchesnay and director of PR and corporate communications at Yellow Pages.
At Sonder, Story has replaced Mason Harrison, who left in February to lead comms at Reef, which operates U.S. parking facilities, logistics hubs and neighborhood kitchens.
Launched in 2014 in Montreal, Sonder is headquartered in San Francisco. Story is planning to expand her department and emphasize the company’s technology, design and global hospitality brand as it grows. She is also planning to develop internal communications, supporting employee engagement, working closely with human resources.
Story’s immediate priorities include media relations campaigns in Dubai, Amsterdam, Mexico City and select U.S. cities.
The company has touted its tech-enabled, digitally driven experience. As cities emerge from COVID-19, its properties have offered contactless check-ins, furnished kitchens and washers and dryers to match travelers’ preferences, increasing efficiency and complying with safety protocols, a company spokesperson said.
“With vaccine rollouts well underway, the world is going back to travel sooner rather than later and PR efforts will focus on developing campaigns to help capture that early resurgence in booking demand,” she stated.
Story will continue to communicate the company’s “safe stay” standards, and emphasize Sonder’s different style from traditional hotels. For example, in-house teams design each space with custom furniture, art and objects that reflect local neighborhoods or city culture.
Story joined Sonder a few days before it announced plans to merge with Gores Metropoulos II, a special purpose acquisition company, and to go public. The combined company has an expected valuation of $2.2 billion and more than $700 million in net cash at closing.
Finsbury Glover Hering is the PR firm representing Sonder. The Blueshirt Group is handling investor relations.