A look back at our fall programming… and getting ready for 2019!


Hello, my fellow PR practitioners! I hope you’ve had a successful and productive fall—as we all head into the holiday season, I want to take a moment to update you on our recent activities.

CPRS Vancouver has had quite an autumn! We kicked off in September with our annual strategic planning session, which brought together our board members for a day of brainstorming, planning and tasty snacks. 

When we surveyed our members last year, one of things we heard was practitioners are looking for events tailored to their experience level, and also smaller, more casual opportunities. At our planning session, we agreed as a group that we wanted to continue delivering high-quality events and services to our members, and to also introduce some new opportunities for specific audiences.  

Two new series

The result? This fall we successfully launched two new series: cPRsips and the Leaders Network.

Led by our experienced Director of Senior-level Professional Development Clay Adams, APR, ABC and the talented Emma Shea, APR , Past President, the inaugural Leaders Network brought together a group of senior practitioners eager for an opportunity to spend an evening talking with their peers. The launch event invitation was extended to CPRS Vancouver members who met the criteria of our Leaders Network—Accredited in Public Relations, and/or have been inducted into the CPRS College of Fellows, and/or have been a member of CPRS for a minimum of 10 years and/or have been practising in the industry for more than 15 years. This group expressed an interest in meeting quarterly to network, share ideas and discuss challenges. If you didn’t get an invite but meet the above criteria and feel this would be a good fit for you, feel free to drop us a line.

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Inaugural Leaders Network gathering

The brainchild of board members Caeli Turner and Amanda Munro, cPRsips an intimate and affordable event focused on genuine conversation about a current issue or topic, with a local expert. The inaugural event in late October—to talk all things municipal elections with two City of Vancouver staffers—was incredibly well received, and it was great to see some new faces at the event. We held a second cPRsips in November about the hot topic of PR and GR strategies around ridesharing. We’ll be continuing to host these events in the New Year, on the last Thursday of each month, so keep an eye out! With a limited number of seats and a drink included in the $15 ticket, these will fill up quickly.

And continuing to look ahead to next year, we’re very excited to be hosting Gender & PR: a workshop on communication styles, gender differences and their influence in the workplace on January 9th. International speaker Amelia Reigstad will lead us in an interactive workshop where we’ll explore the impacts gender differences have – both on PR practitioners, and in the workplace. You won’t want to miss this one, either.

You can keep up-to-date on all CPRS events by visiting our website

All kinds of offerings for all kinds of people

This fall we also hosted a successful breakfast keynote address with Ottawa-based David Coletto, Chief Executive Officer of Abacus Data, who shared his insights about the evolution of public affairs and how technological, political and generational shifts have changed the rules of message control and advocacy.

We launched our mentoring program, celebrated our amazing volunteers, and started work planning the holiday social. It’s been a busy few months! 

One of the many benefits of CPRS membership is the range of accreditation programs, for new practitioners up to the College of Fellows. This year, I’m very pleased to report that I’ll be pursuing my APR designation. According to the CPRS website, “The yearlong accreditation process will test your proficiency in all areas of public relations and communications through rigorous evaluation of the skills and abilities needed to practice at a senior level.” Sounds kind of terrifying, which is why I’m so happy to report two of my board colleagues are joining me on the journey! We’ll keep you posted as we progress through the program.

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Celebrating some of our amazing volunteers!

And finally… theCPRS 2019 conference: Evolving Expectations extra early-bird deadline is almost here! If you register by Dec. 14, you’ll save $360 off the regular member rate, so I urge you to sign up now! I can’t say enough good things about my experience at last year’s conference in PEI. Meeting other CPRS members from across the country reminded me that we’re part of a national network of PR professionals, all working hard to make communication clearer and better, holding ourselves to high standards and doing it all with style. Plus, the parties are epic. 

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With CPRS Regina President Michelle James at the CPRS 2018 Conference in Charlottetown


I was so pleased that IABC/BC wanted to partner with CPRS Vancouver again this year to put on a joint holiday event. The PR and communications community in Vancouver is a large and diverse group so any opportunity to get a bunch of us in one room is welcomed. Tickets are still available for the event, so get yours today.

I’d like to close by recognizing the CPRS Vancouver board. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to work with this talented group of PR pros. Having a strong, ethical professional association is something I value highly, and the time, skill and expertise my board colleagues put into their work to make CPRS Vancouver great is so appreciated.  

I hope to see many of you on December 13th—we’ll be gathering at the Roundhouse Community Centre for an evening of camaraderie… and a few cocktails. Wishing all our members, friends and families a safe and happy holiday season, and all the very best for 2019. It’s going to be a great year!

Johanna Ward
CPRS Vancouver

About the Author

Johanna Ward is the current President of CPRS Vancouver.