I’m thrilled to be representing CPRS Vancouver as the Society’s 51st President. When I joined CPRS as a member in 2009, it was really just to get a member discount on the National conference being held in Vancouver that year. Little did I know that within 7 years of receiving my first membership card, I would continue on to obtain my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), join the Board of Directors, and step into the honourable role of President. What can I say? I’m totally hooked on the organization, and CPRS Vancouver has a lot to be #CPRSProud of.
I recently attended the World Public Relations Forum and CPRS National Conference in Toronto, May 29-31, 2016. As part of my attendance, I sat in on the CPRS President’s Council and was able to hear about the Society’s accomplishments, successes and challenges over the past year. I’m pleased to confirm that CPRS Vancouver represents the second largest local society across the country, after Toronto, with more than 225 active full-members, and 91 student members. We are a high-functioning, self-sufficient local society with a plethora of talented communicators who are involved in a variety of sectors. Whether it’s Health Care, Media, Government, Energy, Infrastructure, Post-Secondary Institutions, Non-Profit Organizations, PR Agencies, Freelance Professionals and more, we are a well-rounded group in the Lower Mainland.
While one of my goals as President this year is to grow membership, I’m equally interested in growing member engagement. It benefits us all when our membership is showing up, asking questions, providing feedback, and generally raising the bar for our profession. If you attended our recent AGM and Summer Social on June 7, you would have heard me pose three challenges to the audience. I’ll mention them again for you here:
1. ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t be shy. Are you looking for career advice? Need a volunteer to help you pull off an event? Forgot what your membership benefits really entail? Need a media contact? Have an ethical PR dilemma you want to talk through? Ask us! We’d love to help find an answer. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch through Facebook and Twitter.
2. ATTEND. I ask that you consider attending at least two events this year – one with the intention to socialize and meet new people, and the other with the intention of learning something new. Even if you’ve had less than a stellar time at a previous event, come again. We won’t always find the utmost value in every single event we attend, but if that’s the case for you from a previous event, don’t throw in the towel on us! You can bet we will take your feedback to heart and try to provide something relevant for you.
3. TELL. Take a minute every month to tell a friend about CPRS. Tell them about an event, about membership benefits, about becoming accredited, about our website and blogs, or about our awesome Job Board postings. If you manage to convince your friend to join CPRS as a member, you’ll get a $100 credit towards your own membership renewal. Cha-ching!
I’m confident that if we all commit to these three things, we will be a stronger, more engaged and connected membership. I can’t wait to keep learning with all of you.
Emma Shea, APR
President, CPRS Vancouver
General Manager, Communica Public Affairs