Cut through the noise

There’s a lot of talking out there … and a lot of ears trained to tune it out. To a sophisticated audience, talking faster won’t help. By harnessing the power of originality and insight — rather than volume and repetition — Hassard Fay ensures that the thought leadership and content our clients publish differentiates them from their competitors and spurs action. It’s a big part of how we make their thought leadership and content marketing programs more focused, more sustainable, and more effective.

Smarter. Not louder.

Let’s talk about how we can do the same for yours. 

"It is far better to offer the world a single remarkable insight, and be remembered for it, than to issue a stream of mundane observations and be ignored."

Ian G. Mason, managing director

Our Services

Thought leadership & content strategy

We help our clients determine how thought leadership and other types of content can support their organization’s overall strategy, defining goals, audiences, and desired mentalities, and identifying themes and topics with the greatest potential to win mandates, raise funds, or influence policy.

Creative development

Working closely with our clients to generate and refine ideas, we research, write, and design thought leadership and other content assets, using a range of formats — infographics, videos, white papers, podcasts, and others — to engage, educate, and persuade our clients’ target audiences. We also coach our clients on the pre- and post-release activities that will help them capture the most value from each piece.

Our People

Managing director

Ian Mason is Hassard Fay’s managing director. His experience includes more than a decade in top-tier consulting, advising senior executives and boards of directors on corporate strategy and governance issues, designing and project managing complex new services, publishing influential white papers, and delivering numerous seminars. He has long experience in content and communications, writing and directing videos for Accenture, publishing and editing the general interest magazines SCOPE and GRAVITAS, and working as an ideas-focused freelance journalist for publications like The Boston GlobeThe Globe and MailThe SpectatorThe Walrus, and The Times Literary Supplement.

Our advisors

Hassard Fay advisors come from a range of backgrounds, some arriving from professional roles in strategy consulting or corporate law, others from creative careers like journalism or film production. All have been selected not just for their skills and experience, but also for their ability to work as part of a client team that is as capable of developing a thought leadership strategy nuanced by business priorities and corporate constraints, as it is skilled at creating ideas-driven content which is both sophisticated and effective. The professionals we look for are intellectually curious about the world and emotionally engaged with their work, and believe that to achieve positive outcomes on the ground you first need to achieve positive changes in people’s minds.

If all of this doesn’t exactly sound to you like the run of the mill, you’re right.

Our Insights


To grow, compute

We’re big fans of thinking that gets right to the heart of a complicated issue — and reconceptualizes it too. César Hidalgo’s new book, Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Basic Books) does just this by conceiving of economic value as an example of information ordered by computational processes, whether in the form of atoms that make up an expensive sports car or of hard-won knowledge stored and shared as digital bits. Our focus graphic above attempts to do justice to his basic idea.

For more, see his June 9th interview with MIT News.

Sharing and surprise (Hassard Fay, June 23, 2015)


Professional services firms are full of highly intelligent and highly rational people, and the thought leadership those firms produce is similarly intelligent and rational. But as Ogilvy’s Miles Young observes, something else is needed to spur action by readers — and that thing, frequently, is surprise.

Learning can be fun

We had the opportunity to attend the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference in San Diego last month — and boy did we learn a lot. We’re using a youthful tone of voice there for good reason; watch our thank you video below to understand why (and to see just a few of the insights we took home with us).

Attention spans (Hassard Fay, March 30, 2015) - thumbnail

More focused than goldfish

The concept of “attention span” is one of those that has driven a great deal of angst in the marketing world — and frankly, far more broadly — as a shortening average attention span seems to imply that messages must get ever more terse if they’re to be listened to at all. A meme doing the rounds in recent years asserts that the human attention span is now less than that of goldfish, which feels both depressing and insulting. But is it true? In what we hope will be the first of a series of Hassard Fay videos on received wisdom that’s not so wise, we take a one-minute look at the statistic and its sources.



Thought leadership is produced to persuade people of something – if not of the merits of a specific argument, then at the very least of the idea that the organization making the argument is intelligent and worthy of respect.

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Some whiteboard ephemera to take into the Canadian long weekend. We got involved today in a friendly debate with a good friend of ours (a CEO and former consultant) over the question of whether parents and children should be expected to have similar reactions to the arrival of the last school day of the year.

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Contact Us

Contact Info

Hassard Fay Inc.
36 King St. East, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5C 3B2