Event Re-Cap: CPRS Vancouver Summer Social and AGM

Summer Social GuestsThis year's AGM was held on June 11, 2014. Emma Shea, Special Events Chair, CPRS Vancouver Board of Directors provides a re-cap on this year's event in case you missed it!

Reading through the exit survey responses from this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Summer Social on June 11, I couldn’t help but smile and get excited about planning future special events for our Chapter over the next year. One comment of feedback said “I felt it was a perfect balance of networking and business. The PR Game Show Panel at the end of the evening gave good feedback on managing issues”. And, if you had an opportunity to follow along on Twitter, you would have noticed that @CPRSVancouver’s #CPRSSummerSocial appeared to be a big hit.

Our AGM and Summer Social brought over 70 public relations newbies and pros out to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre’s Salon Rooms for some business, food and fun.

(Side note: did you know that our events attract about 1/3 Junior Professionals, 1/3 Intermediate Professionals and 1/3 Senior Professionals?)

We learned at the AGM that one of the Vancouver Chapter’s notable successes this year is welcoming 48 new members. With CPRS Vancouver’s membership healthy and thriving, thanks to the ongoing work of John Kageorge, Membership Chair and the rest of the board, we were pleased to see many of these new faces in attendance at this year’s event.  

We also recognized Stephanie Chow with the CPRS Vancouver Student Scholarship Award. You can find out more information about Stephanie and this award on the Chapter’s website.

Following official Chapter business and a top-up of our drinks, special guest host Leigh Kjekstad from Global BC led us through a fun and interactive game show-style panel presentation with four senior practitioners: Rebecca Peters from Laura Ballance Media Group, Linda Bilben from REPUTATIONS, Michelle Leroux from Whistler Blackcomb, and Claire Alter from NATIONAL Public Relations. They were challenged to think on their feet and asked to pitch communications solutions to public relations blunders from the past year. Topics included the Sochi Olympics, Malaysia Air, and representing clients with a bad reputation (can you guess who?!) Two teams of two faced off with their answers, and the audience casted their vote for which team answer they liked best. After the “lightning round”, the audience was able to ask the panel questions and advice regarding real-life situations that they may have encountered.

While all in good fun, the panel was unanimous in these thoughts: be proactive with your message – get it out early and often; a communications plan may need to include Western media and global media solutions; and always have a plan that includes considering a public relations crisis as an opportunity to re-create an image.

I’m already thinking about ideas for our Chapter’s Christmas Party, and have a few things brewing. I hope you’ll take the time this year to come out to an event, even if it’s been years since you did or something you’ve never done before. You are bound to meet a smart, welcoming and fun crowd of public relations peers.

Re-cap co-Authored by Stephanie Munez, SFU Student Volunteer