In Vancouver, we combined our office with another firm, Labrador Communications, and that pairing also proved very successful, that office also becoming the leader in it's market.
There still remained a big gap in Atlantic Canada that we were fortunate to fill by teaming up with Halifax-based MT&L, which eventually opened an office in Saint John, NB, and St. John's, NL. In 2012, NATIONAL became majority shareholder of MT&L, which now operates under the NATIONAL name.
With our healthcare practice flourishing in Canada, we eventually opened our own office in London, England, under the AXON brand, to serve as a base for clients we serve in Europe. Now, with an AXON office in New York, we are proud to have a truly global healthcare practice.
Other significant changes in the new century were based on two opportunities. One of these was moving to a single corporate entity model.
Rather than partners in a local office, our partners became owners in one single corporation. And as Canada’s largest firm, we literally had to write the book on how to operate a firm of this size and reputation. While we always had strong ethical standards, we needed to set these down for everyone to understand and follow. We also needed to standardize a number of operating processes.
The other opportunity was seizing the impact of technology on our business and on our lives. The explosive impact of television in the sixties was seen again with the emergence of all-news channels and with the Internet and digital media. Unlike television, which is managed by others, digital media allows communications professionals to develop content. Through our Digital Leadership Team, we are as much involved in social media as with traditional media. And that’s why we acquired digital media agency Sonic Boom, to craft messages right into people’s hands. [NATIONAL integrated Sonic Boom's oprations into its core business in 2015.]