I’m thrilled to let you know that I’ll be joining NATIONAL Public Relations in early December as managing partner in Toronto and chief digital strategist for the Firm as a whole. I’ll also be overseeing Sonic Boom, their customer experience agency.
In the seven months since I left Edelman, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few terrific clients on some really meaty assignments as an independent consultant; I’ve had great discussions with senior executives from at least a dozen PR, management consulting and digital firms; I’ve stepped up my advisory roles to include five kick-ass start-ups; and most importantly, I’ve had the chance to rest, recharge and spend a lot more quality time with my wife Lea, our family and friends, and of course… #Jack.
In the process, I’ve learned (or re-learned) a lot about myself, including what fires me up… and what doesn’t. As many of you know, re-joining an agency in any capacity wasn’t at the top of my to-do list when I started this adventure. But a great friend and long-time colleague gave me this advice last winter: “Take every meeting; listen to everything; be patient; and trust your instincts. You’ll know what’s right when it hits you.” He was right.
For those of you south of the border or across the pond, NATIONAL is Canada’s largest PR firm, and one of two core agencies owned by RES PUBLICA Consulting Group, a privately-held, Montreal-based business; the other is the Canadian arm of Cohn & Wolfe. In addition to operating 12 offices in Canada, the US and UK under the NATIONAL banner; the NATIONAL family also includes Sonic Boom, A Customer Experience Agency; AXON, a medical communications firm with offices in Toronto, NY and London; and Madano Partnership, a London-based corporate communications shop focused on the energy sector.
The tremendous opportunity presented by the role notwithstanding, the swing factor for me was what I heard from and saw in RP’s leadership team of Jean-Pierre Vasseur, Valérie Beauregard and Royal Poulin. These are people you want to work for, and with. They have a compelling vision for where they want to go and they have an ambitious plan that spells out how they’re going to get there. I’m honoured to be invited by them to be part of that effort.
I wouldn’t be here today were it not for the love and support of Lea and our amazing family. We’re all in this together, and we couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead.
So back to Canada we go. The next chapter begins now.