Member appreciation event nets largest turnout in recent memory

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How to capture the energy of the 160 CPRS Toronto members who attended our season opener at the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse on September 27? Perhaps a few of your stories will do the trick.

CPRS Toronto hosted 160 Members at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse for it’s season opener on September 27, 2012.

In her follow-up note to the event, Carol Panasiuk, APR, LM, says that she appreciated the opportunity to get together with the senior practice group at our private reception, which took place just prior to the main event with all CPRS Toronto members. She found the reception to be a great opportunity to catch up with her peers and has suggested that CPRS Toronto get the senior practice group together a couple of times each year. We’re planning on it, Carol!

Bruce Stock, APR, FCPRS, dropped in on Kathleen Garrett, APR, and the APR study group that had hived themselves off for some exam preparations. He told our APR candidates of his experience as an Oral Examiner in the CPRS Accreditation Program several years ago, revealing that he and the other two examiners had given a perfect score to a candidate. Bruce wanted to impress upon our candidates that, a) it could be done, and b) the key was that the successful candidate was concise with her answers. This APR candidate had spoken succinctly and with purpose and when she was done, she was done. It was great to be in on this particular interaction that will hopefully serve as some inspiration for the CPRS Toronto candidates who are now into an extremely intense part of the accreditation process.

The members heard brief updates from their Board members, learning about our current priorities and numerous upcoming events. These Board reports generated great follow-up discussions with our members and sponsors. I spoke with Emmanuel Caisse with CEDROM-SNi on his way out, for example. He had already connected with our Board liaison to sponsors, Laurie Smith, and was deeply engaged in exploring ways to meet our members’ professional needs.

This event has also jump-started our member volunteer network once again, to the delight of Board members Parm Chohan, who is coordinating volunteer placements with the Board’s working committees, and Jenn Heyes, who heads up our student leadership team.

CPRS Toronto President Vincent Power, APR, had a lively chat with a group of student members who were amused when he told them to be sure to pull their weight in group assignments at school. Vincent advised the students that PR school stories travel far and wide and could ultimately affect their employment. Our new student members were shocked and somewhat horrified to hear this but soon realized that they could relate. According to the students, the time spent on group assignments is the hardest time to like your fellow PR students.

We also heard from members who were unable to attend. Perhaps my favourite exchange was with Andrew Clarke who sent his regrets but didn’t forgo his opportunity to network. Andrew asked us for some support to get in touch with members who, like him, are giving leadership to social media and community relations strategies. We have since offered Andrew some contacts to get started.

Judging by what you said, I think we were successful in providing an appropriate and meaningful networking opportunity for our members at this event. I hope we also adequately conveyed our appreciation for your continuing member support of CPRS Toronto.

The final word here goes out to CPRS Toronto members Amie Zimon, Jessica Delaney and Jenn Heyes who answered our call for volunteer support at this event. Given the number of members who attended, they certainly had their hands full in terms of handling the social graces while also helping to ease our new members into the CPRS family. You did a truly admirable job. Thank you.

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