CPRS New Member Profile: Yang Zhang

Photo Yang

Yang Zhang

Title: Recent PhD graduate in Communication and Media Studies, University of Calgary

Years being a CPRS Member: New member

Why did you decide to study PR/Communications?

I’ve always liked and enjoyed writing. Words are powerful. PR is one of such fields that could demonstrate the power of language in conveying meanings, persuading the public and building a brand. I’m also interested in these topics: how and why some brands are more established and marketable than others in either national or international markets; what is the best way to position a particular product or a place as a choice for its potential targeting consumers. Hailing from China, I also have a passion to serve as international and multi-cultural communication roles, advancing the practice of PR in international markets.

Can you elaborate on your research studies? What did it look like? 

I have a strong research background in mass communication, public relations, communication policy and consumer insights. I value the role of communication research, both numerically based and in-depth based. Research is an essential part of PR management, which helps to identify targeting audiences and measure the effectiveness of a particular PR or marketing strategy.

What was your most memorable moment from your study in Communications? 

The most memorable moment is learning about how strategic communications can contribute to the achievement of a particular organization, product, or event. Now it’s the time of 2018 Winter Olympic. Hosting a successful Olympic game is inseparable from the efforts of a country’s PR strategy in the aspects of nation and city branding, media relations, crisis communication, etc. 

What PR/Comms lessons have you learned while studying?

First, technology revolutionaries how we define the meaning of Communication. Nowadays every brand gets promoted and every story gets told across multimedia platforms. Audiences would go almost everywhere searching information, adapting and constructing messaging for their own purpose of use. Secondly, in the rapidly changing global environment, it’s challenging but rewarding to communicate effectively with international consumers, making use of diverse media genres and engaging different audiences across multiple cultural settings. These two trends bring both opportunities and challenges to the field of PR. 

Fill in the blank: My favourite part of Communication is _

Exploring how to design product stories with true technical knowledge and how to attract more consumers. For example, Procter & Gamble (P&G)’s Scientific Communication team does a very good job in translating the technical information of its products into the language that non-technical people can understand. This is a link to an interview to Dr Frauke Neuser, Associate Director of Science & Innovation Communications at P&G, introducing the company’s usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to create a Skin Advisor service for its Olay brand.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Communication is one of the key skills that one needs to learn and improve throughout life. 

Why did you join CPRS? What do you like most about being a CPRS member?

I’m a new member of CPRS Vancouver. My former background is more research-focused. Working as a PR/Communications practitioner is one of my current career plans. CPRS groups all PR experts across the country and provides a platform for them to share their professional interests and experiences.