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Luc Beauregard: the Quiet Strength of an Unassuming Leader

Luc Beauregard was posthumously presented with the Quebec Employers Council’s Career Award on April 8. On this occasion, Valérie Beauregard, Executive Vice-President, shared her thoughts on Luc’s contribution and his legacy to the Firm’s values. What follows is an excerpt of her speaking notes (translated from French).

Luc will have left a mark on his generation and on the business community in many ways, as much through his tremendous contribution to the development of the public relations discipline as his incredible political, social and cultural commitment in favour of countless causes.

However, he often stated that his most important achievement was first and foremost the outstanding team of collaborators he built across the country – and beyond – to run our offices and to lead our practice areas and services.

Today, NATIONAL has about twenty partners and numerous senior managers in its 12 markets, without counting those of our other firm, Cohn & Wolfe | Canada; of AXON, our division specialized in medical communications; and of Sonic Boom, our digital communications subsidiary. I am certain that Luc would have liked to share this award with each of our 425 employees.

A boss who led by example, he roused employees with his critical sense, with his communication and strategic advisory skills but also with his vision for a better world. True to his journalistic ideals, he became a leader in his field by wagering on truth – the title of his biography – and in so doing he invented the modern public relations approach. His biographer, Jacqueline Cardinal, so aptly described him as the great unassuming leader.

Luc recognized that the most difficult part of his work over the years was to combine the practice of public relations with the management of a growing company. When asked what the key to his personal success was, he would simply answer, “Work hard.” For 40 years, he brought work home, often working until the wee hours of the morning. Luck, for him, could only be counted on after the hard work had already been put in.

Beyond this personal discipline, Luc was able to demonstrate unwavering consistency in the way he lived his personal values. His values were his True North in a rapidly evolving corporate and social environment. Much change has occurred in the field of public relations since NATIONAL was established 38 years ago; yet, amid all this change, Luc always insisted on sound judgment and on respect for the integrity of the Firm’s brand reputation. This, above all, is what shaped the culture and values ​​of the Firm, and what helped NATIONAL define and maintain the leadership position it still holds today.

Luc also knew that he constantly had to renew himself.  A compulsive reader with an insatiable curiosity, he was a firm believer in lifelong learning and in continuous training, which he considered essential to providing real added value to the senior management table. Today, this belief is of such high importance to RES PUBLICA that our Firm spends close to a million dollars a year on the continuing education and professional development of our talent.

Finally, Luc often said, “To receive, you must give.” And he gave a lot, as evidenced by the multitude of his commitments, whether it was to his profession, to social and cultural endeavours, or to the business community. It is therefore quite natural that this social commitment is a cardinal constituent of his legacy to the Firm. As noted in our most recent Corporate Social Responsibility report, our employees contributed more than 30,000 hours over a period of five years in pro bono projects serving dozens of non-profit organizations in our various markets. This number does not include the hours our employees invested personally in supporting causes that they hold dear.

I’ll stop here and once again express, on behalf of my family, our sincerest appreciation to the Quebec Employers Council for this important honour. The award is an eloquent testimony to Luc’s exceptional career and, above all, a testimony to the inspiration that he continues to spark in all of us.