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Proof Strategies Launches Trustlab Inc. to Advance Trust Building in Canada

May 13, 2020

TORONTO, May 13, 2020 – Proof Strategies, the largest wholly Canadian-owned independent public relations and communications firm, announced today the launch of Trustlab Inc., a research and consultancy firm dedicated to helping leaders and organizations measure, understand and build trust. The newest member of the Proof family of companies, Trustlab is powered by experienced business acumen, strong academic connections and decades of strategic communications experience.

“Trust building is the defining challenge of our time. Organizations with strong trust are more agile, innovative, productive and profitable – qualities that Canadian businesses need to navigate the post-pandemic recovery,” said Kathleen McGinn, Director at Trustlab. “Trust matters, and it is foundational to meaningful social and economic progress central to Canada’s quality of life.”

“When leaders and boards begin to measure trust within their organizations and better understand the magnitude of the problem that our data shows, the solutions would flow straight to their bottom line. Leaders will need to understand that building trust is a long game. In order to be successful they will need specialized expertise and strong commitment to flow from the top through their entire organization,” said Bruce MacLellan, CEO at Proof Strategies.

Trust in Canada’s CEOs is in free-fall

Trustlab launches at a time when measuring trust is more important than ever. While trust in doctors and scientists is soaring, Canadians’ trust in CEOs fell from 55 per cent in January 2018 to 38 per cent in January 2020 and to 30 per cent in May 2020 according to Proof Strategies’ research. In the fifth annual CanTrust Index, employees give their employer a C grade for their efforts to build trust internally, and the further employees are from the C-suite, the lower they grade their employer.

Bridging research to action

Trustlab provides the highest quality data available to offer evidence-based insight. Built on Proof Strategies’ strategic communications expertise and proprietary data developed through the CanTrust Index, Trustlab delivers integrated solutions that translate academic contributions and research into clear actions that empower leaders to build and sustain trust.

Kathleen McGinn joins Trustlab with a strong track record of business, academic and not-for- profit accomplishments. She is a research and teaching assistant at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and holds an MBA from the Rotman School and a BHSc in Kinesiology from the University of Ottawa, where she studied in french. She is the founder of EMPWR, a charitable foundation devoted to the advancement of concussion recovery and the current Chair and President of Rugby Ontario. Prior to establishing EMPWR, Kathleen owned and operated a successful foodservice and import company in Toronto.

Trust matters – for business, for research, for country

Trustlab’s work will be guided by an advisory group of leading experts tasked with building a roadmap to stronger trust in Canada. This group will grow the body of knowledge on trust- building by contributing the latest academic insights with practical business leadership experience for advice and direction on new and ongoing research.

“We believe that trust-building is in the best interest of all Canadians, but it’s crucial to understand that trust is complex.” said McGinn. “To help drive social progress, we make the process of building trust clear, understandable and actionable.”

“We are launching this business as we enter a recession, but it’s a solution targetted to one of the greatest challenges of these difficult and uncertain times. We are proud to make a contribution to the success of Canada in raising real understanding about how to build trust,” added MacLellan.

To learn more about Trustlab, visit

About Proof Strategies:

For leaders responsible for managing, protecting and building organizations and brands, Proof Strategies is a public relations and communications partner that “asks better questions” to create insight, grow trust and achieve success.

Founded in 1994 and now with close to 300 awards for client work and industry leadership, the independently owned Proof family of companies have more than 200 team members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Washington, DC. Proof Strategies collaborates with independently owned WE Communications (formerly Waggener Edstrom), reaching more than 100 additional international markets.

Follow Proof Strategies at and on Twitter & Instagram at @get_proof.

Media contact:

Kelly Olive