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CPRS Toronto panel revealed top communication trends for 2018


TORONTO – December 15, 2017 – To think of 2018 and what that means for the PR profession can be exciting and frightening. No matter what side of PR you work on, the landscape has been changing at a rapid pace with no end in sight.

At the final Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) – Toronto Chapter event of the year on December 4, a panel of CPRS members and thought leaders explored communication trends to watch for 2018. The panel included:

  • Ian Ross, APR, director of communications, Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (moderator)
  • Tracey Bochner, co-founder and president, Paradigm
  • Bruce MacLellan, founder and CEO, Environics Communications
  • Lauren More, vice-president of communications, Ford Motor Company Canada

The discussion focused on three key trends.

Trend 1: PR practitioners need a new set of skills.
Teams are being built in different ways to solve communications challenges and data is being used more to influence decisions. “This is a great opportunity for PR as it gives you a chance to expand and adapt your skills – like learning about data and metrics as they are becoming extremely important to PR,” said Bruce MacLellan.

Also, with artificial intelligence (AI) being harnessed to provide value to consumers – it will be used by approximately 80 per cent of chat bots in the US next year – engagement with clients and consumers will change. Although there’s a shift to AI, Lauren More believes “one thing that AI cannot do is tell a story that will tug at people’s heart strings and resonate beyond the noise.”

Trend 2: PR is becoming increasingly integrated.
PR campaigns are no longer focused solely on one channel. “When you get an RFP, it’s not the same [as it once was] – you have to include PR, digital, social and experiential marketing,” explained Tracey Bochner.

The panel discussed how it is a misconception that PR is merging into other areas like advertising and marketing. In reality, the practice of PR is expanding and growing into new areas. Clients, for example, no longer want to go to three different agencies for three different things – they want one agency for several services.

Trend 3: PR practitioners need to change how they develop content.
Resource crunches are affecting all companies – budgets are getting tighter and traditional media outlets are decreasing. This forces PR to be strategic in how it’s used to tell meaningful stories.

The panel agreed, more content is not always better. Effective campaigns can no longer rely solely on news releases and earned media efforts. They now require some aspect of paid media, which can include influencers to help further target key audiences.

This CPRS Toronto communications trends panel is the first annual (held at the end of every calendar year), hosted by the local chapters president(s) with panelists made up of thought-leading chapter members.

The Canadian Public Relations Society is a national professional organization focused on establishing and upholding educational and ethical standards in Public Relations. CPRS Toronto is one of the largest local societies with nearly 600 members. For more information, please visit:

President’s Message


In 2017, the headlines highlighted some of this year’s most important PR lessons:

  1. Journalism is Evolving: Through social media, every individual has the potential to voice their opinion on the world’s stage. Practitioners must be attuned to the issues and feedback from their audiences.
  2. Demand for Transparency: It’s been a year of revelations with secrets being exposed and an increase in demand for transparency.
  3. Ethics in Public Relations:  In an era of “fake news” and accusations, practitioners need to ensure truthful and accurate reporting.
  4. Reputation management: Do your research and your SWOT analysis to prepare all sides of the issues to direct the conversation and mitigate crises.

We reflect on our past year of activities and achievements and are proud and honoured to represent our local society’s members, who continue to lead the industry in experience, strategy and innovation.

In 2018, it’s your voice that we would like to hear. We encourage your programming suggestions and hope to highlight your achievements and insights on industry best practices by welcoming your written submissions for our website and involvement in society initiatives.

We would like to thank the Board and our volunteers for all their hard work this year and wish all CPRS Toronto members and your families, a very happy holiday season.

Danielle Kelly, APR and Erica Silver MA, APR
Co-Presidents, CPRS Toronto

Marketing Through Influencing: What You Need To Know To Make it Work


I remember the first time I saw a paid partnership post in my Instagram feed. My first reaction was confusion: this is fair to the consumers, this is how it is supposed to be, but this will likely ruin everything for the brands and influencers. Who would want to buy this, now that they know it is paid for? Then I looked closer at the “product” – it was a new collection of a famous fashion brand – and I realized I liked the way the blogger styled the brand’s clothes. She wrote about the brand’s quality, their corporate social responsibility and even the creative way they attracted her into business partnership. I was still trying to stick to my initial cynical position while scrolling through the blogger’s feed.

I started following her a long time ago when she wasn’t paid for wearing a fashion piece… or maybe she was, and I just never got a chance to confirm it. So I asked myself one question: has her Instagram page changed, apart from that paid partnership label? The answer is “no”. I still liked her online persona. I clicked on the link in her bio and looked up the brand’s new collection.

Authenticity and honesty. That is what you are looking for in a modern influencer marketing approach. Even taking a legal aspect of disclosure policies aside, any influencer marketing professional should take into consideration an increased consumer skepticism and a shift to user generated content which gives more power to the consumer. A new digital era demands transparency. In a way it is a more honest, genuine version of advertising. However, it is such only if you follow the rule: treat your influencers as long-term partners, not one-time participants in a business transaction.

Making friends and building a network. You may be tired of hearing the word “network” again, but yes, networking is vital in any business, communications especially. This may come as a surprise, but influencers are also people and like to be treated as such. You should start by engaging with an influencer: like their posts, comment on them and share them. Spend some time on your research: find out what your influencer’s interests are, read up on his/her work and look up posts about them. Focus on finding a thing you share, and then pitch your influencer by mentioning your common interests. Just as any other pitch, it should be catching, intriguing − it should stand out. Remember, your ultimate goal is possibly converting your influencer into loyal brand ambassador. Only if you customize your approach and build meaningful relationships, will you get an authentic representation of your brand by an influencer. And their audience will instantly feel that.

Speaking about the audience. The single biggest mistake many brands make is considering only the influencers with big following, often ignoring the proven fact that a smaller but dedicated audience is more valuable for your brand’s goals. Fake followers issue aside, it is a matter of reaching out to your potential clients, not the general public.

To do that, identify influencers who are relevant specifically to your industry: think about your brand’s target audience and compare it to the audience of the influencers in your field.

One more tip would be considering the right channel to reach out to your target audience. Usually, influencers are present on the majority of digital media platforms to increase their online presence. However, there is always one platform which they prefer, which works best for them, and which gained them the popularity your brand needs. What you should do is evaluate which platform aligns more with your industry and best displays your content – then search for the right platform influencer. Typically, business influencers prefer Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, while consumer, lifestyle and fashion influencers stick to Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest.

Influencer marketing is not as easy as it may seem at first. It requires a lot of preparation, monitoring and tracking, evaluation and measuring. Is it worth the hustle? Well, if you do it right, you end up increasing your brand awareness, building trust with your customers, growing your social media following and ultimately, increasing revenue and making more profit. Yes, it is very much worth the hustle!

By Iryna Zheliasko


Where Are They Now? Kyleigh Benninger


Featuring Kyleigh Benninger, CPRS Toronto Student Steering Committee VP External 2016/2017.

  1. What did you enjoy most about being on the SSC? 

I got to meet and work with fantastic people on the Executive team, to share my experiences with students across the GTA, and hear about the experiences of others in many different stages of their careers. All of this helped me to get to where I am today.


  1. Where do you work now and what do you do? 

I am currently Public Communications Coordinator for Stantec Consulting Ltd., supporting the City of Ottawa on a multi-million-dollar construction project funded by the municipal, provincial, and federal governments. My main responsibility is to provide strategic advice and assistance to the stakeholder relations portion of the project. Many of you will learn (as I am still learning) that as a consultant, it’s difficult to pinpoint your sole responsibilities.


Being a communications consultant in an engineer’s world has it challenges. But, that’s where my networking skills, largely learned through SSC, have come in handy. If I don’t know the answer to something, or if I am looking for some professional expertise, I tap into that network and get in touch with someone who does. If I’m stuck and need some advice, I’ll run it by someone in my network who will shut down my idea immediately, offer some new suggestions, or give me their stamp of approval. Moral of the story, NETWORK PEOPLE!


  1. How do you think CPRS Toronto helped advance your career or get you ready for your current position?

Getting the opportunity to network with individuals in the real world of PR, helped me not only to develop my skills, but to also get a sense of what it was that I wanted to do. I was able to get advice from many professionals through CPRS Toronto and SSC events, that I would never have been able to get on my own. It opened a lot of doors for me as someone starting out in the field, helped me to get a better grasp on where I wanted to be in the future, and ultimately, supported my skill development and awareness of life in the professional world.


Connect with Kyleigh on LinkedIn:


Where Are They Now? Sabrina Lavi


Featuring Sabrina Lavi, CPRS Toronto Student Steering Committee Representative 2016/2017.

  1. What did you enjoy most about being on the SSC? 

I enjoyed interacting with other students from the various college programs across the GTA and attending Passport to PR, which is a great networking opportunity for all aspiring public relations professionals.


  1. Where do you work now and what do you do? 

I’m currently working at Rouge National Urban Park, Parks Canada as a Public Relations, Communications and Promotions Junior Officer. I work within the external relations team to help deliver promotional campaigns and produce internal and external communications. I’m responsible for executing events, processing media requests, developing speeches, presentations, newsletters and promotional plans for upcoming events in the park.


  1. How do you think CPRS Toronto helped advance your career or get you ready for your current position?

Joining CPRS Toronto at the beginning of my journey as a public relations professional helped me gain a better understanding of the industry. By attending networking events, I interacted with experienced individuals working in the public relations field. I learned about career paths, designations and tools to help me become a better communicator.



CPRS Toronto celebrates an evening of excellence in communications at the 2017 ACE Awards Gala


TORONTO – May 2, 2017 – This evening the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Toronto chapter celebrated the best public relations practitioners in the Greater Toronto Area at the annual CPRS Toronto ACE Awards Gala. The event was attended by over 350 practitioners at Arcadian Court, acknowledging the successes of Toronto’s public relations industry.

“This is one of the most exciting nights of the year for the CPRS Toronto community,” said Erica Silver, Co-President, CPRS Toronto Chapter. “There was an incredible level of talent in the audience, showing off the high caliber of creative and strategic thinking in this city.”

The ACE Awards recognize communications campaigns in various categories, including events, media relations, digital media and student accomplishments. The event concludes with the presentation of the two most prestigious awards: Best PR Campaign of the Year and Best Creative PR Campaign of the year.

Argyle Public Relationships took home the trophy for Best PR Campaign of the Year for their memorable work on Wilson-Christen LLP Sixties Scoop.

SickKids Foundation was honoured as the winners of Best Creative PR Campaign of the Year for the creative flair and passion behind the SickKids VS campaign.

“This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of dedicated and passionate volunteers who do everything from judging submissions to planning the perfect Gala night,” explained Nancy MacMillan, ACE Awards Chair, CPRS Toronto Chapter. “An ACE Award is a highly coveted achievement that represents skill, innovation and intelligence.”

The 2017 ACE Award Recipients include:

Best PR Campaign of the Year

  • Argyle Public Relationships for Wilson-Christen LLP Sixties Scoop

Best Creative PR Campaign of the Year

  • SickKids Foundation for SickKids VS

Best Digital Communications Campaign of the Year

  • Gold – Paradigm Public Relations, MEC and Edgewell Personal Care for Carefree Free to Be Me
  • Gold – Weber Shandwick for McDonalds Canada Our Lounge
  • Silver – FleishmanHillard for ORBA #SiteUnSeen
  • Bronze – Weber Shandwick for McCormick Club House Just Cook
  • Bronze – Cohn & Wolfe for Coleman Canada Get Outside Day

Best Use of Media Relations (over $50,000)

  • Gold – Pomp & Circumstance PR for Grey Goose Boulangerie Blue
  • Silver – APEX Public Relations for Walmart Canada Discover Another Side 2.0
  • Silver – Citizen Relations for Molson Canadian #anything for hockey
  • Silver – CO-OP for Anyone can buy and sell like a pro
  • Silver – Strategic Objectives for Sears Canada Debbie Travis Launch
  • Silver – Weber Shandwick for Harley-Davidson Canada Café
  • Bronze – Argyle Public Relationships for Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission
  • Bronze – Cohn & Wolfe for Goody Have a Good Hair Day
  • Bronze – GCI Group GCI for Bringing Barbie® You Can Be Anything to Life
  • Bronze – Kaiser Lachance for Royal LePage House Price Survey 2015
  • Bronze – Citizen Relations for PepsiCo Foods Canada Doritos Ketchup Roses
  • Bronze – CO-OP for EarthFresh Foods Inc. Low GR potato Launch
  • Bronze – The Colony Project for Ascencia Diabetes Care
  • Certificate of Merit
    • Pomp and Circumstance PR for Dewars Scotch Egg
    • LG-One, a WPP LG dedicated entity represented by GCI Canada for LG Electronics Canada Got Styler
    • Argyle Public Relationships for Canadian Multiple Myeloma Patient Database
    • DDB Public Relations for Ontario Natural Gas Alliance Extending Summer with Chef Rob Rainford
    • DDB Public Relations for Dairy Farmers of Canada: Project Sheep

Best use of Media Relations (under $50,000)

  • Gold – Pomp & Circumstance PR for Scotiabank World Cup of National Hockey Fan Village
  • Silver – Argyle Public Relationships for Myeloma Canada Research Network
  • Silver – Craft Public Relations for Nintendo of Canada Limited The Launch of Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon
  • Silver – Corus Entertainment for Home to Win
  • Silver – Golin Toronto for PetSmart Charities of Canada National Adoption Week-end
  • Silver – Holmes PR for Consignor Canadian Fine Art
  • Silver – Kaiser Lachance Communications for Auspice Capital Advisors the Value of Crude Oil
  • Silver – World Vision Canada for Welcome to Canada
  • Bronze – Kids Help Phone for Kids help Phone
  • Bronze – Craft Public Relations for Clover Leaf Seafoods
  • Bronze – FleishmanHillard for Energizer Camping Program
  • Bronze – Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Interac Association: Interac on Apple Pay Launch
  • Bronze – Toronto Hydro for Emergency Preparedness Hacks
  • Certificate of Merit
    • Communications Agency for SOCAN Canada’s Music Creation Capital
    • InterContinental Hotels Group for InterContinental Hotels Group Holiday Inn Express Sleep In
    • City of Vaughan for Winter Maintenance
    • Corus Entertainment for Vikings and Josh Donaldson
    • elevator communications inc. for Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company
    • FleishmanHillard for Moneris: Holiday Spending Campaign

Best Use of Special Events

  • Gold – DDB Public Relations for CIL Paints Dream It Here Do It Here
  • Gold – The PR Department for Maille Canada: Maille Flavour Studio
  • Silver – Weber Shandwick for Harley-Davidson Canada 1903 A Harley-Davidson Cafe
  • Silver – Paradigm Public Relations and Thermador for Thermador Celebrates 100 Years of Culinary Excellence
  • Silver – Citizen Relations for President’s Choice Babylicious
  • Bronze – energi PR for Astellas Pharma Canada Movember #Baskets For Bros
  • Bronze – Bronze – Citizen Relations for PepsiCo Foods Canada Dorritos Inferno
  • Bronze – Pomp & Circumstance PR for BACARDÍ Holidega
  • Bronze – Centennial College for Up All Night
  • Bronze – The Colony Project for La Roche-Posay Become a Skin Checker
  • Bronze – Zeno Group for Barilla Canada Make It A Pronto Night
  • Bronze – DDB Public Relations for Moët & Chandon TIFF
  • Bronze – engagers for Bay of Quinte Tourism
  • Bronze – Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Motorola #DifferentPlaysBetter
  • Certificate of Merit
    • FleishmanHillard for Energizer TIFF 2016
    • FleishmanHillard for MARS Rice Grains and Food Truck Challenge
    • Pomp & Circumstance PR for Last Great Malts of Scotland
    • Toronto Transit Commission for Honest Ed’s Tribute

Brand Development Campaign

  • Gold — Strategic Objectives for Sears Canada Brand Reinvention
  • Gold — SickKids Foundation for SickKids Foundation
  • Silver – Weber Shandwick for Harley-Davidson Canada 1903 A Harley-Davidson Cafe
  • Silver – APEX Public Relations for Walmart Canada 2016 Marketing Communications
  • Silver – APEX Public Relations for Walmart Canada Discover Another Side 2.0
  • Bronze – Toronto Transit Commission for Toronto Transit Commission
  • Bronze – High Road for President’s Choice Babylicious
  • Bronze – High Road for Clarks Americas, Inc.
  • Bronze – Citizen Relations for PepsiCo Foods Canada Doritos Ketchup Roses
  • Bronze – Weber Shandwick for McDonald’s Canada McCafe Specialty Brand Reignite
  • Certificate of Merit
    • DDB public Relations for Dairy Farmers of Canada – Project Sleep
    • Corby Spirit and Wine for How to Leverage Brand Ambassadors

Community Relations Campaign of the Year

  • Silver – Tangerine Bank for #BrightWayForward
  • Bronze – Hill+Knowlton Strategies & Plan International for Plan International Canada #GirlsBelongHere
  • Bronze – Argyle Public Relationships for Ontario Pork: An Era of Change & Accountability
  • Certificate of Merit
    • High Road for Alvinston Minor Baseball Club Little Leagues Send A Big Message
    • Holmes PR for Scouts Canada Good Turn Week
    • GCI Group for Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. Cities Changing Diabetes
    • CAA South Central Ontario for Heads Up Ontario
    • High Road for CanadaHelps Giving Tuesday
    • Corus Entertainment for #GreaterTorontoDay

Crisis or Issues Management Campaign of the Year

  • Gold – APEX Public Relations for Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
  • Bronze – Kaiser Lachance Communications for Eastmain Resources
  • Certificate of Merit
    • Tilray Telling the Medical Cannabis Story

 Employee Engagement/Internal Communications Campaign of the Year

  • Gold – City of Vaughan for Staff Forums – 2016
  • Silver – Weber Shandwick for McDonald’s Canada Vision 2017
  • Silver – Weber Shandwick for McDonalds Canada Our Lounge
  • Silver – TVO for My TVO
  • Bronze – PepsiCo Foods Canada for PepsiCo Foods Canada Cultivating A Culture of Transformation
  • Bronze – Weber Shandwick for Royal Bank of Canada #Make150Count

Government Relations Campaign of the Year

  • Gold – Argyle Public Relationships for Wilson-Christen LLP Sixties Scoop

Investor Relations Campaign of the Year

  • Silver – Kaiser Lachance Communications for Auspice Capital Advisors

Marketing Communications Campaign of the Year

  • Gold – Strategic Objectives for Sears Canada Back To School With Sears
  • Gold – The Colony Project for General Mills Smuggleroos
  • Gold – DDB Public Relations for CIL Paints Dream It Here Do It Here
  • Silver – Strategic Objectives for Sears Canada Launch of New Sears Canada
  • Silver – Citizen Relations for President’s Choice Babylicious
  • Silver – GCI Group (GCI) for Bringing Barbie® You Can Be Anything to Life
  • Bronze – Citizen Relations for PepsiCo Food Canada Smart Food Smart Stash
  • Bronze – CO-OP for Weed Man Canada 2016 Marketing Communications Program
  • Bronze – LG-One, a WPP LG dedicated entity represented by GCI Canada for LG Electronics Canada Holiday Got Styler
  • Bronze – Financeit for Financeit – TD Acquisition Indirect Home Improvement
  • Bronze – Kwittken for Sleeman Breweries Railside Tour
  • Bronze – Veritas Communications for General Mills Canada Bring Back the Bees
  • Bronze – North Strategic for AIR MILES Detour
  • Bronze – Weber Shandwick for Manulife Vitality
  • Certificate of Merit
    • Cohn & Wolfe for Coleman Canada Canada Get Outside
    • Your Brand Integrated Marketing Communications Inc. for Two Oceans Wines Canada Bachelorette Sponsorship
    • Paradigm Public Relations, MEC and Edgewell Personal Care for Carefree Free to Be You
    • FleishmanHillard for ORBA #SiteUnseen
    • Weber Shandwick for McDonald’s Canada Restaurant Experience of the Future

New Product or Service Launch Campaign of the Year

  • Gold – Weber Shandwick for McDonald’s Canada McCafe WestJet Partnership
  • Gold – Strategic Objectives for Sears Canada Debbie Travis Launch
  • Gold – Kwittken for Sleeman Breweries Railside Tour
  • Gold – FleishmanHillard for Lactantia Butter Campaign
  • Silver – DDB Public Relations for CIL Paints Dream It Here Do It Here
  • Silver – Weber Shandwick for Manulife Vitality Launch
  • Bronze – Weber Shandwick for McDonald’s Canada Restaurant Experience of the Future
  • Bronze – Hill+Knowlton Strategies for KitchenAid Artisan Mini Launch
  • Certificate of Merit
    • Argyle Public Relationships for CeraVe Skin Love Cera Ve
    • Craft Public Relations for Tetley Canada Ayurvedic Teas
    • FleishmanHillard for MARS Rice Grains Food Truck Challenge
    • ClutchPR for Turo Launch in Canada

Student Public Relations Communications Plan of the Year

  • Bronze – Humber College for Winners Millennial Success
  • Bronze – Centennial College for Canadian Parks Council Simply Second Nature
  • Bronze – Centennial College for CivicAction Mental Health in the Workplace
  • Bronze – Centennial College for WoodGreen Community Services Opportunity Talks

Leadership Awards

  • PR Professional of the Year – Janine Allen, Kaiser Lachance Communications
  • Young PR Professional of the Year – Eric Thomson, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
  • PR Student of the Year – Priya Khemchandra, Centennial College
  • Lois Marsh Award – Carol Panasiuk

Where Are They Now? CPRS ACE Award Winner Student Public Relations Plan of the Year


Stephanie Murphy was a member of the dedicated student team from Centennial College that won the #CPRSACE Student Public Relations Communications Plan of the Year. At the 2016 CPRS Toronto ACE Awards Gala, her team won for the Civic Action/Project Fusion campaign titled “Know the Signs” which focused on educating and building awareness around mental health in the workplace.


With the upcoming 2017 ACE Awards Gala just around the corner on May, 2nd, PRS interviewed Stephanie one year later to reflect on her CPRS achievements and see what she’s been up to since her big win.


  1. What’s been the most rewarding part of winning the CPRS ACE Student Public Relations Plan of the Year?

Overall, it was very humbling and nice to get recognition. My team and I worked hard all year for the campaign so it felt wonderful to be invited to the gala and to be included within the PR community. The Canadian Red Cross team was proud I got to be a part of it too.


  1. Where are you working now?

I was a Canadian Red Cross intern from April to May 2016 and after that I was hired on as a coordinator. I’ve been working on the communications and public engagement team ever since. I love it!


  1. What’s your day-to-day role?

Part of my time is spent supporting the Ontario communications team on a variety of tasks including media monitoring, design, research and writing, among other things. I also work on a partnership the Canadian Red Cross has with Global Affairs Canada to raise awareness about humanitarian work we do internationally. This involves organizing speaker events, finding opportunities for public engagement, and working on our annual Faces of Humanity campaign.. It’s a great learning environment because no two days are alike.


  1. Has your path in PR changed from what you wanted when you were a student or freshly graduated?

I originally thought an agency would be a good place to start, as I thought it would offer a variety of learning opportunities, but I’ve always been more passionate about non-profit organizations. When I was a student, the Canadian Red Cross internship opportunity came my way and it seemed like a great chance to dive into the non-profit sphere.

  1. What’s your advice to current PR students aspiring to win the award?

I suggest that if you’re interested you should push yourself to apply. It’s a great chance to receive more exposure in the PR community and to network with other PR professionals at the awards ceremony. Ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ You have nothing to lose!


  1. Looking back what is one takeaway from the award you would like current students to know? Is there one piece of advice you would like to give them?

The ACE Awards offered me a great networking opportunity right at the beginning of my career. I valued the experience of submitting for the award as well because it helped me build my professional portfolio.


  1. What skills did you harness when you worked on the campaign that you use everyday at work?

Team work is an essential PR skill that is a part of almost everything I’ve worked on so far in my career. It’s so important to learn how to be a respectful, accountable and helpful team player.




Written by Alessandra Manieri, Ryerson University graduate and public relations postgraduate from Humber College. Currently working as a PR Coordinator at Strategic Objectives.


Passport to PR with Strut Entertainment, Citizen Relations and Liquid Communications


About Passport to PR

Organized by the CPRS Toronto Student Steering Committee, this event offers students the opportunity to visit PR offices, speak to members of their team and get answers to all the burning questions they have about the industry.

In groups of 15, students visit three public relations offices throughout downtown Toronto. As part of Group G, students visited Strut Entertainment, Citizen Relations and Liquid Communications. Here is attendee Samiha Fariha’s recap of the day.

Location #1: Strut Entertainment

After battling the morning rush on the TTC, I arrived unscathed at the trendy office of Strut Entertainment. Strut was kind enough to provide us with a morning breakfast of water, coffee, muffins and cakes.

The morning session at Strut started off with Samantha, the founder of the agency, telling us about her day-to-day responsibilities and a history of how Strut came to be. Three pieces of Samantha’s advice that really resonated with me were:

1. Pay attention to office culture, it’s more important than you think.

  1. Watch your social footprint.
  2. Never stop learning.

Location #2: Citizen Relations  

After our morning session with Strut, few of us in Group G with our group leader Mary took the streetcar to our second session at Citizen Relations.

The team gave us a brief introduction about the corporate culture and philosophy of Citizen Relations followed by an in-depth look at how the agency approaches public relations and their work. It was interesting to learn that Citizen does not have a core area of focus, they aim to be a full-service agency that serves clients from a wide variety of industries.
Location #3: Liquid Communications

At Liquid Communications the team spoke to us about some of the clients the agency worked with, their experiences in the PR industry, advice on how to get invaluable hands on PR experience as well as some of the key differences between working in boutique agencies vs. large agencies. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to leave.

I really enjoyed my Passport to PR experience. The event provided me with the opportunity to learn about how PR agency life is like in both large and boutique agencies and make new contacts in the industry.

UntitledGroup G having a ball at Strut Entertainment

Written by Samiha Fariha, a student in Humber College’s Post-graduate Public Relations Program.



Passport to PR Winter Edition: A Post-Event Recap


Having recently completed a successful event, Building Media Relations, at the upper deck of the Pilot Tavern, CPRS Toronto Students’ continued its journey across the PR industry.

On Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017, students travelled from schools across the area, including Centennial, Humber, Ryerson, Seneca and Sheridan, to attend the winter edition of Passport to PR.

These students were given the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of PR practice, meeting top communications professionals from a diverse range of industries and organizations.

Students listened to in-depth presentations from these pros, getting to ask questions and learn the inside scoop on the PR world.

Some of the topics covered included transitioning from student to work life, the differences between agency and in-house, and the changing face of PR.

The students got the opportunity to select from one of seven groups. Some locations that opened their doors were Coca-Cola, Craft PR, Cohn & Wolfe, Ripley’s Aquarium, Edelman and Citizen Relations, among many more.

The group I led traversed Front Street, starting our morning at National PR before stopping by Metrolinx and ending our day at MLSE. The students had a blast and gained a great deal of insight from the communication teams at these three organizations.

We re-assembled as a big group, celebrating a great day in true student style, with a trip to Jack Astor’s. Students enjoyed food and drinks, making new friends and swapping stories from the day.

We’d love to hear about your experience at Passport to PR: Winter Edition!

What was one insight you gained from the event that you will take with you towards your future career?


Written by: Maxim Naylor, a 1st year student in Humber College’s Bachelor of Public Relations program and student representative of the CPRS Toronto Student Steering Committee.

Twitter: @maximnaylor


#CPRSACE – Still time for your submission

photo credit@APEXLinda

photo credit@APEXLinda

There’s still time to submit your campaign for a prestigious ACE Award.  February 24th marks the deadline for full submissions for awards in 13 categories.  Receiving an ACE Award can help with market differentiation and raise company profile which could lead to new business opportunities.

Plus the CPRS Toronto Leadership Awards deadline is February 27th.  Plenty of time to submit an individual who has achieved excellence in their careers or made significant contributions to the field of public relations. Nominate a student, your boss, a colleague or CPRS Toronto volunteer today!

The 2017 ACE Awards will be presented at the Gala on Tuesday, May 2, at Arcadian Court. Come celebrate with a night filled with friends, networking and laughter and a chance to celebrate success with your peers.