President’s Blog: New Year, New Ideas, New Faces

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Happy New Year CPRS Vancouver Members,

I hope you have all enjoyed some down time over the holidays and are walking into 2017 feeling refreshed, revved and ready to put your goals into action. I am writing this on December 29th before I leave for a much anticipated 2 week vacation to southern California – so by the end of January, I’ll be feeling a little more rejuvenated myself!

CPRS Vancouver has had a busy 6 months. Here’s what our Board of Directors, with help from our many volunteers, have put together for you since our AGM in June:

  • September: Our Pints n’ PR networking social kicked off the fall season where members re-connected and/or met new industry peers.

  • September: Student members were invited to a coffee-shop drop-in to learn more about getting involved with CPRS.

  • October: CPRS Vancouver’s Mentorship program was re-launched. Over 20 keen mentees and mentors have been matched this year for individual mentorship and growth.  

  • November: CPRS Vancouver and IABC-BC teamed up to offer an exceptional speed mentoring event that encouraged seasoned practitioners to share their knowledge and experience with new communicators.

  • November: CPRS Vancouver and CPRS National partnered up to bring “Brand Journalism and Advanced Writing” with Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications to Vancouver. The workshop attracted over 85 local and regional communicators (some travelled from Victoria and Prince George for this one).

  • We also facilitated having Mark Ragan present to a tailored audience at UBC while he was in Vancouver.

  • The CPRS National Conference taking place in Kelowna next year was launched late this fall with extra early bird registration running until December 15. Members of our local Board are involved in conference committees, and we are ecstatic that this year’s extra early bird attracted more registrations thus far than we’ve seen for the last 9 conferences.

  • December: Following the deadline to apply for the CPRS Accreditation program, our Society was thrilled to see 7 (yes, that’s right, 7!) new local APR applicants who will be working their way towards earning Accreditation over the next year to propel their career to the next level.

  • We wrapped up 2016 with a Holiday Social at the Portside Pub in Gastown on December 13. Great appies, great beer and great conversation amongst a fabulous group of people!

Pretty awesome, right? I’m very proud of the work the Board has accomplished this year to-date, but that’s not all. We are only half way through this term and have some stellar initiatives coming up. Here’s just a taste:

  • January: First keynote Speaker Series event of the year on January 25th with author Jim Hoggan.

  • February: Indigenous Relations and Public Relations Speaker Series event.

  • 2 junior/mid-level professional development events coming up before July.  

  • A special event for senior-level CPRS members is in the works, as well as a re-schedule of the “Hire Intelligently, Build Your Team Effectively and Fire Compassionately” session.

  • A panel event about Public Relations and ethics featuring CPRS Vancouver’s “No Good Deed” columnist Deborah Folka and friends.

  • We’re exploring a number of partnership opportunities including with Simon Fraser University Continuing Education and the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference in April. Stay tuned!

We have also attracted some fine talent to our local Board of Directors. I’m pleased to welcome the following Board Members who have stepped in effective immediately, and who will officially be voted onto the Board during our AGM in June 2017:

  • Clay Adams, APR, ABC, Vice-President Communications & Public Affairs, Vancouver Coastal Health – CPRS Vancouver Director, Senior Practitioner Professional Development.

  • Randip Janda, Strategist with CrossConnect Media Consulting Inc. and on-air host with Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition – CPRS Vancouver Director, Membership.

  • Tanya Colledge, Communications Specialist, BC Transplant – CPRS Vancouver Director, Communications.

  • Thomas Miller, Communications Coordinator, Jacob Bros. Construction – CPRS Vancouver Director, Students & Education.

  • Keanan Kipp, Instructor, Broadcast & Online Journalism, BCIT – Director, Junior-Mid Practitioner Professional Development.

A heartfelt thank you to outgoing Board members Kelsey, Jessica, Scott and John. Your contribution has been substantial to say the least. You will be missed!

If 2017 is the year you want to get involved with the CPRS community, to step out of your comfort zone and help lead an event, to write a think-piece for our newsletter, start a discussion or support group with your PR peers (we all need support now again, don’t we?), or even just help welcome new members by giving them a quick phone call to say hi, we want to hear from you.  

Go make big things happen, members. We’ve got your back.

Emma Shea, APR

President, CPRS Vancouver