Res Publica founder leaves behind a communications legacy to be envied
After battling cancer, Luc Beauregard, the founding chairman of Res Publica Consulting Group who was named to Ordre national du Québec just weeks ago, passed away at his home in Montreal last Friday on the eve of his 72nd birthday.
“We have lost a leader who left his mark on his generation in many ways, as much through his significant contribution to the development of the discipline of public relations as through his political, social and cultural contribution benefitting numerous causes,” said Jean-Pierre Vasseur, president and chief executive officer of Res Publica, in a statement.
Res Publica also owns global communications firm Cohn & Wolfe, digital communications agency Sonic Boom and National Public Relations, the largest PR consultancy firm in Canada, which Beauregard founded in 1976.
Prior to that, Beauregard worked as the president and publisher of the daily newspaper Montréal-Matin. He began his career in journalism as the Ottawa correspondent and city editor at La Presse, where he worked from 1961 to 1968. He went on to serve on the Privy Council in Ottawa and as special advisor and press secretary to Quebec’s Minister of Education.
Beauregard won the Philip A. Novikoff Award from the Canadian Public Relations Society in 1996 as well as an Equinoxe Award in 2006, among many other lifelong accolades. He involved himself in many social and cultural endeavors, such as his role as president of the Fondation du Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal. He also spent over a decade on the board of the Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale (Théâtre Denise-Pelletier). He was first named a member of the Order of Canada in 1996.
In 2012, Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business established the Luc Beauregard Centre of Excellence in Communications Research. Its director, Jordan LeBel, told Marketing of the impact Beauregard made not just on the school, but on the people he knew there.
“In the short time I have known him, he left me with many important lessons and inspired me greatly,” said LeBel. “His passion for public relations and communications, his insistence on doing things right, attending to details, and his ‘big picture’ or strategic perspective were obvious and inspiring. Advancing the cause of public relations and helping public relations professionals assert their position at the head decision table of their organization were constant preoccupations of his. He has been a great source of inspiration and he provided valuable assistance in launching the Centre. I personally learned a great deal from him and will miss his counsel and cherish the lessons he left me with.”
“Luc was a giant in Canadian public relations, responsible for shaping much of the modern PR industry in Canada, both as a personal advisor to countless clients, as well as through the Canadian agencies he led,” said David Gordon, a managing partner at Cohn & Wolfe and chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms.
“He led by example, and was never shy about sharing his own learning and experience to help develop the next generation of agency practitioners… His legacy continues.”