Saturday, March 5, 2011

A look back in entrepreneur history: A Profile on Lou Cahill


I would like to take this post to inspire entrepreneurs, with a profile on Lou Cahill, Canadian Public Relations pioneer and legend. Lou has also been a mentor to many public relations practitioners in the region, some of which have been guest speakers in my class and have expressed how amazing this man was.

Lou started as freelance sports reporter with the St. Catharines Standard and after a few years he met Lee Trenholm, a public relations practitioner from New York City. After working with Lee on a local project, Lou was offered a job at the New York City office, at the young age of 20. Lou did not take the job, but was inspired to work at a career in public relations and communications, which in 1934, was a non-existent industry.

In 1944, Lou founded the Ontario Editorial Bureau, which is now known as Enterprise Canada, one of Canada’s first public relations firms. Just a few of Lou’s achievements include:

• The opening of the Queen Elizabeth Way and the Royal visit of King George and Queen Elizabeth.
• Victoria Loan Campaign in Niagara for the Bank of Canada.
• Provided communications services to Ontario Paper Company.
• Responsible for “P.Eng” designation for professional engineers.
• Played a key role in the founding of Brock University
• Recognized with Honorary Doctorate from Brock University.
Canadian Public Relations Society prestigious Philip Novikoff award for lifetime achievement.
• The Canadian Public Relations Society Distinguished Service Award was changed to the Lou Cahill Award.


Lou worked full time for over 75 years and was working in the office until he was 91 and died at the age of 94. He expressed the importance of community involvement and charitable activities. Lou never carried a business card. Sometimes there isn’t research or a book that can tell you how to run a successful business, but those who have the heart and desire to succeed often do. I hope you have found Lou as inspiring as I have. A small town Canadian with ambition can make history too.

8 comments:

Samantha said...

It's amazing how much Lou Cahill has done, especially within the Public Relations industry. And it's even better that he came from the Niagara region. He has definietly put PR on the map for the Niagara region.

Ann said...

Lou Cahill is an inspiring man. He brings proof to the saying, "hard work pays off." It is amazing to see his long list of achievements. He is definitely a legend in the PR industry.

Katie said...

It's incredible how much Lou Cahill means to Public Relations. I'm glad that I have knowledge of an important figure in the
PR industry. It's amazing that he came out of the Niagara Region and had such an impact on the PR industry.

Anna said...

Lou sounds like an amazing person, on more then one occasion that we have spoke with PR professionals they always reference Lou. He truly has inspired many in this profession

Catherine - Takin' Care of Fitness said...

Mr. Cahill is an incredible inspiration, and I know he always will be. I am envious of those who got to spend time with him, and learn from him.

Real(ity) Love Critic said...

Now I know why you pointed to Lou's picture in the Enterprise Canada office today. I agree with you though, he is such an inspiration for PR practitioners. I think its amazing that he has this ability to inspire people even though he passed away a few years ago. If only one day I can be like Lou.

Aisling said...

Lou Cahill is definitely one of a kind. Very inspiring, and makes me excited to start a career in PR.

Lauren Adkins said...

After hearing a recent speech on Lou Cahill, I am so inspired when I begin work in the field of PR. Lou just proves that no matter your age you are capable of creative and excellent work. What an amazing man!