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History

Our history

Our Firm was created in September of 1976 by an entrepreneur, Luc Beauregard, who saw public relations—quite a new profession at the time—as a way of solving problems and being in the action.

His plan was to work alone as a consultant, with a secretary. He had been running a newspaper with 14 unions and wanted a quiet environment. Then, his entrepreneurial spirit took over and the Firm started to take shape.

“My principal motivation in beginning this enterprise was to create an environment where we enjoy working together, with the best people, to focus on the needs of prestigious and demanding clients, to build a company we can be proud of, at the heart of big things that matter,”
Luc Beauregard (1941-2013)

This is the governing idea that continues to drive our development today.

For more than 40 years, we have built our reputation on providing clients with the bold thinking that helps shape businesses, communities and culture. We value a diversity of experiences and thinking in our people, which allows us to deliver the creative solutions required to connect and engage audiences. This “best teams” approach of discipline and sector experts continues to put us at the centre of issues and industries, leading change for today and tomorrow.

Our raison d’être is based on a set of values to which we are profoundly attached. It has allowed us to assemble, first in Canada, and then in the U.S. and across Europe, a team of extraordinary men and women who are building a company that reflects their aspirations—who are, in fact, building their own company. Over the years, our team has created a positive working environment conducive to building a clientele that we are extremely proud of and are dedicated to serving with the utmost skill.

Our entrepreneurial spirit and long-term vision are shared by our chairman Andrew Molson, who decided to invest in the company in 2005, and then became the major shareholder and chairman of the company in 2007. Andrew is part of the Molson family, which has maintained a powerful position in the beer industry for over seven generations.

We want to keep building the footprint of our best-in-class Firm, aggregating the best companies, employing the best people to support our clients with all their communications needs, using state-of-the-art products and services. Wouldn’t you like to be part of it?

Timeline

1976

NATIONAL Public Relations is founded by Luc Beauregard in Montreal on September 22

1986

Toronto office opens

1987

Quebec City office opens

1988

Ottawa office opens

1995

NATIONAL acquires the Canadian operations of Burson-Marsteller, including an office in Vancouver and the Canadian activities of Cohn & Wolfe, two subsidiaries of Y&R. Y&R becomes a minority owner of NATIONAL.

1997

NATIONAL enters the Calgary market

2000

WPP Group acquires Y&R and becomes a minority shareholder in NATIONAL-Canada (now called RES PUBLICA)

2001

NATIONAL enters the Vancouver market

2003

London, U.K. office opens under the name AXON Communications

2005

NATIONAL acquires Communication et Stratégie, which is merged into the Montreal office

NATIONAL extends its network coast to coast and acquires an interest in Halifax-based MT&L Public Relations

2006

NATIONAL is proclaimed “Public Relations Firm of the Year” by Marketing Magazine

2007

NATIONAL acquires Communication Incorporated of Calgary

2008

NATIONAL opens an office in Saint John, New Brunswick

NATIONAL acquires the award-winning interactive agency Sonic Boom

2009

NATIONAL is recognized with a SABRE Award by The Holmes Report as Canadian Public Relations Agency of the Year

2010

AXON Communications opens an office in New York

2012

NATIONAL opens an office in St. John’s, NL, and a satellite office in Copenhagen

2013

NATIONAL acquires Madano Partnership, a strategic communications consultancy firm in London, U.K.

2015

NATIONAL integrates Sonic Boom’s operations into its core business

NATIONAL acquires TMX Equicom and the practice is now known as NATIONAL Equicom

2016

AXON Communications opens an office in Copenhagen and Zug (Switzerland)

NATIONAL acquires SHIFT Communications with offices in Boston, Austin, New York and San Francisco

Cohn & Wolfe | Montreal joins NATIONAL’s Montreal office

2017

The holding company AVENIR GLOBAL is created and owns 100% of the five operating companies (NATIONAL, NATIONAL Equicom, AXON, Madano and SHIFT)

2018

NATIONAL acquires Montreal-based Octane Strategies
AVENIR GLOBAL acquires Padilla, a top 10 U.S.-based independent public relations and communication company