Women in Leadership: the constant balance and imbalance

The Quebec City Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Program participants assembled for a bootcamp a few weeks ago, covering issues from money, mistakes to avoid and agile business models to objective setting and the need to find balance. Joëlle Boutin, Consultant at NATIONAL, shares the highlights of the day, including lessons learned from the dynamic businesswoman Geneviève Babin on how to stay focused on her career objectives without losing sight of priorities. (Blog posting is in French.)

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The Giving Shift

The future of major gift programs depends on the non-profits’ ability to not only speak to a new generation of prospects but to also establish new, long-term, giving relationships. For Stephanie Reid, Senior Consultant in our Halifax office, the challenge may be significant, but non-profits can focus on a few key areas to start seeing results. Among these, the time-tested principles of narrative, accountability, relationships, and privacy that still apply today, but that need to be executed very differently.

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Rethinking corporate social responsibility

What are the real drivers of a brand’s reputation, and how much does it really matter? In a piece published in the Globe & Mail, our Toronto office Managing Partner and Chief Digital Strategist for the Firm, Rick Murray, shares his take on what the results of the joint Léger/NATIONAL Corporate Reputation Study mean for brands and companies moving forward. In short, for Rick, it’s time to invert the brand pyramid, to put the customer’s wants and needs ahead of the company’s and to stop trying to create demand and focus more on meeting it. Companies need to do right by us before we’ll do right by them. Customers will be quick to penalize those who stray from that ethos.

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NATIONAL Toronto’s culture of engagement

NATIONAL’s Toronto office is brimming with people who are curious, serious about changing the province and world, and whose future depends on outcomes of elections, such as the Ontario campaign. From intimate chats about the 2018 Ontario Budget with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa to engaging in conversation about issues with electricity pricing, our team’s ethos is to be informed and to help inform.

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Inspiring the consumer: You Can’t Do That on Television

What’s most fascinating about today’s consumer landscape, aside from the need to be new (and understatedly cool), is the challenge for brands to do much more above and beyond anything they have ever had to do to entice, engage and retain their customer. Creating a brand moment is hard work. It’s no longer about locking down the celebrity ambassador for a campaign and air brushing the ad into a puffy nude pink lip. Tara Wickwire, Senior Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy in our Halifax office, tells us how it’s about creating the aspirational moment across all channels.

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With the Ontario Election 80 Days Away, Wynne’s Speech from the Throne is in the Spotlight

Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivered the Ontario Government’s Throne Speech yesterday on behalf of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government. The speech, which read like an election platform, contained promises of new investments in health care, home care, mental health and students that will plunge the province back into deficit. With an election scheduled for June 7, this speech, read in the legislature at Queen’s Park, had the feel of a pre-election public relations play, aimed at winning back voters for the June general election. Facing historic lows in public opinion polls and a newly crowned populist Progressive Conservative leader in Doug Ford, Premier Wynne and her team need to take some bold measures to be competitive in June.

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