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Bob Pickard launches his new venture Signal Leadership Communication

17th August 2016


Public Relations executives – Bob Pickard and Janice Mandel – today announced that they have partnered with Nanos Research to create Signal Leadership Communication Inc. (SLC), a new social PR consultancy.

“Around the world, communication is becoming a more critical strategic leadership function, and increasingly all communication is being driven by social media,” said SLC Principal Bob Pickard. “Yet many CEOs remain fearful about online PR risks and unsure about opportunities and so they are cautious about pulling the digital trigger. Our new firm is aimed at helping these executives become savvy with social so that they can powerfully signal their leadership.”

“Digital has become essential to creating public image and it is also a dangerous threat to one’s reputation,” said SLC Principal Janice Mandel. “Social media is now the key to relationships with the communities who are important to business success. With almost a third of PR agencies now reporting directly to CEOs* it is clear that communication has become more important than ever at the most senior level. Our firm is well-positioned to capitalize on this accelerating trend.”

Pickard and Mandel began their careers as colleagues at Hill & Knowlton in Toronto, where they both served as vice presidents in the 1990s. Since then, Pickard – one of the PR world’s foremost social media leaders – has built agency businesses in North America and Asia Pacific with firms such as Environics and Edelman. Expert in both corporate communication and brand marketing, Mandel has a served in senior client-side positions at companies like Proctor & Gamble. She has also developed a deep consulting portfolio in sectors including mining and real estate.

Pickard and Mandel are the managing principals of SLC, with pollster Nik Nanos playing a counseling role as a partner of the new firm in addition to his position as Chair of Nanos Research. 

“Thirty years in the research business has taught me that it’s not just what you know, but how you communicate that achieves the most successful outcomes,” said Nanos. “There have been past attempts to marry polling and PR, but now social creates a new paradigm. Digital by definition is about numbers, and with Signal Leadership Communication we have the ability to deliver on the promise of data-driven public relations strategies for clients who want to get measurable results.”

SLC is already serving domestic and international clients from its new headquarters in Toronto. The firm will be making several announcements in the weeks ahead, including a new poll about the power of social media to make and break one’s public image, a study of social media adoption by CEOs, and new partnership agreements with ally firms in international markets.


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