On June 23, CPRS Vancouver hosted a hybrid AGM at the prestigious Vancouver Club. The event attracted 58 attendees virtually and in-person. Thanks to COVID 19, it had been two years since we had gathered in person.
The official AGM "kicked off" with a highly entertaining, motivational, and insightful keynote presentation by Racelle Kooy titled "How to Host an International Press Conference Like a Rock Star." According to Kooy, a suitable alternative title would be "Preparing for the Big Stuff in Life!"
To nurture our ongoing professional development and prepare ourselves for the "big stuff" in life, she stressed the importance of:
Going with your gut
Building a strong foundation
Engaging in mentorship and allyship
Being a good ancestor
Go with your gut: be confident and self aware
For Kooy, it’s all about developing that inner sense of knowing and self-confidence. It’s all about "knowing your stuff" and getting out of your own way (self doubt, so- called "imposter syndrome" etc). In sum, own what you're good at and know your strengths and weaknesses.
Skills wise, knowing your stuff also involves:
Evaluating and sharing your gauge of the potential media interest to prepare interviewees to take advantage of what actually comes.
Strategizing on the pacing of information so that it meets the needs of media while managing client/spokesperson interviewing capacity.
Build a strong foundation
For Kooy, this takes work and will serve you well in terms of professional advancement. It involves garnering the trust and respect of your client/spokesperson and demonstrating the impact that we as professional communicators can have.
None of us are lone wolves. Who can you debrief with when you get in your own head? Who can give you some stellar professional advice or constructive criticism when you are stuck or need it? Who can help you stay grounded so you can focus on your goals?
Engage in mentorship and allyship
Being taken under the wing of a mentor is so very life-enhancing. So is mentoring. As a mentor, you have a fantastic way to learn more about what is actually in your toolkit as a communications professional. Nothing forces you to master your skills more than by sharing them. Whether you are a mentor or mentee, you both get the added bonus of inter-generational knowledge exchange. To check out the CPRS Vancouver mentorship program, click here.
Be a good ancestor
It is never too early to think about your legacy. How is your work impacting your community and future generations? What else can you do?
The evening continued with Rashpal Rai, APR, 2022-2022 CPRS Vancouver and National Director, thanking the volunteer judging panel and presenting this year's Prestige Award winners in three categories. For more information on the winners, click here.
Following the keynote and announcement of the 2022 PRestige Awards, the members present finally got down to AGM business. After the 2021 AGM minutes were approved and votes were tallied, the following board positions were confirmed for 2022-2023:
Alexandra Skinner, President Elect
Carolyn Rohaly, APR, Vice President
Dina Zaid, APR, Co-Director, Communications*
Roberta Prattico, Director of Volunteer Services*
Natasha Naidoo, Director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)*
*Previously appointed to the position in 2021, now officially elected to the board by our membership
Note: We still have several open positions and are looking for new faces. For more information, click here.
The jam-packed evening concluded with an acceptance speech by President Elect, Alexandra Skinner. After thanking Past-President, Amanda Munro, for her leadership and presenting her with a token of our appreciation, Alexandra gave us a "sneak peek" of what to expect next year, including more in-person events and co-hosting a national conference. Her remarks emphasized the necessity of resilience and reinvention. How, for example, does an association stay relevant in post-COVID times? What does that mean for us and our programming going forward? Stay tuned for more details!