Regan Lal, APR
Part of the CPRS Vancouver Chapter Board for five years, Regan Lal also served as its president from 2014-2015. From agency, to government and non-profit, Regan brings 15 years of communications experience — and a recent APR designation — to her current role managing communications at Douglas College.
How did you first get into communications?
I was a Political Science major, and got into communications through an internship program at the BC Legislature. At the time you were either assigned to communications or research, and I got communications. After the program, a fellow intern, who then began working in agency, decided to leave for Botswana and asked if I wanted their job. Though I consider myself an intuitive communicator, it was a weird way to get into communications! After that I decided to go to Royal Rhodes to complete my Public Relations Management graduate certificate to more formally build my skillset.
What has been your biggest lesson learned?
Regardless of the amount of planning you put into something, something will always go wrong. With that knowledge comes associative flexibility. Knowing that something can always go sideways, despite how planned or thorough a strategy, helps you deal with issues more clearly and, ultimately, with less anxiety.
You recently completed your APR – congratulations! Tell us a bit about that experience.
It was something I’ve been talking about doing for years. I believe it’s becoming more recognizable as a credential — it’s certainly the closest thing in public relations professional to a professional designation.
It’s a valuable marker for the end of your name and the process was incredibly interesting—from developing a work sample, to the test and verbal panel in front of people who have been in the industry for decades.
Even though I’ve been in the industry for almost 15 years now, I still consider myself a new communicator. This experience showed me just how much I really do derive from my experience and knowledge.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve been given?
I had a boss who would never provide me with an answer when I came to him with a client issue. Instead, he would always ask me what I wanted to do. It made me think, and made me work beyond what I thought was my “level”. It’s a question I make part of my process today.
The other great advice is that nothing is beneath you — regardless of what role you hold in an organization. If you have to make media calls, you make them. If you need to set up a tent for an event, you set it up. It’s important to lead by example.
How has your involvement with CPRS benefited your career?
When I joined CPRS I jumped right into the board, which gave me a different perspective. The experience provided me with professional development, including the opportunity to learn about board management. Then through my role as President of the Vancouver chapter I learned and grew so much.
And it’s also just about having that connection to other communicators. I love getting the national and local chapter newsletters. I live in the suburbs so it can be hard to get to events – though I try, but there are so many ways to keep connected.
Oh! And the national conferences, they are literally PR Camp. Everyone speaks the same language, so it’s easy to strike up a conversation. CPRS really represents the collegiality of our profession.
Can you share a fact about yourself?
I love baking! Baking is my stress reliever and I think about it a lot. I may not have a lot of time for it, but pastry and baking is my thing.