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Phil Soper of Royal LePage Real Estate Received the 2014 CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations

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Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, with his family at the Toronto CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/CPRS Toronto

Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, with his family at the Toronto CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/CPRS Toronto

The 22nd CPRS Toronto CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations luncheon was a wonderful success! Fellow practitioners gathered together to celebrate the public relations industry, strengthen professional and personal relationships, and to reinvigorate passion for effective communications.

The honouree, Phil Soper, presented an excellent speech, which highlighted his natural communication skills and thanked everyone who has helped him achieve the CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations. He thanked his family first and foremost for being a supportive presence throughout his road to success. He also informed the audience of his family history, which has played a significant role in his goal setting and achievements.

Phil said, “writing skills are an integral part of CEO excellence,” and his family has a history of great writing.
It could be said that Phil was destined to be a great leader. With the help of Kaiser-Lachance Communications Inc., he has used effective communications to lead a business strategy and achieve business success.

Included in his speech was a summary of some fundamental public relations principles. It was encouraging to hear the President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal LePage spell out the importance of public relations to achieve effective communications. Kaiser-Lachance Communications has helped Royal LePage with strategic positioning, thought leadership, media relations, and much more. Public relations is a game changer for business strategies when it is applied effectively.

The CPRS Toronto CEO Award luncheon is a tradition that not only recognizes the honoured CEO, but also provides an opportunity to celebrate the work public relations professionals do and the counsel they provide to leaders of all types of organizations. A strong partnership with public relations professionals makes communications a strong foundation for business strategies.

Congratulations again to Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage, for being the 2014 winner of the CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations.

Phil Soper of Royal LePage Real Estate Receives the 2014 CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations

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Maryjane Martin, APR, President of CPRS Toronto (left), presents the Toronto CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations to Phil Soper, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, Wednesday, January 28, 2015, in Toronto. The award was created in 1991 to celebrate the Chief Executive Officer in the Greater Toronto area who best demonstrates personal excellence in the understanding and implementation of public relations practices. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/CPRS Toronto

Maryjane Martin, APR, President of CPRS Toronto (left), presents the Toronto CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations to Phil Soper, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, Wednesday, January 28, 2015, in Toronto. The award was created in 1991 to celebrate the Chief Executive Officer in the Greater Toronto area who best demonstrates personal excellence in the understanding and implementation of public relations practices. The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/CPRS Toronto

(Toronto, Ont., January 28, 2015) – Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage Real Estate Services is the recipient of the 2014 Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Toronto CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations. Mr. Soper was honoured with the award at a luncheon on Wednesday January 28, 2015 at the Eaton Chelsea Toronto. This year marks the 22nd occasion of the award ceremony, which recognizes Canadian CEOs and leaders who display communications excellence and contribute to the vision of their organization.

During Mr. Soper’s ten years at the helm of the nation’s largest real estate firm, Royal LePage has earned a commanding lead in traditional and new media share. In 2014, the company generated over 422 million traditional media impressions, more than the next five major real estate firms combined.

As the one hundred year old firm’s spokesperson on national issues,
Mr. Soper offers insight into the country’s residential housing and commercial real estate markets through Canadian and international television, radio and print publications. He was an early adopter in leveraging social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to expand the firm’s reach.

“An engaged, contemporary enterprise cannot survive on a diet of traditional or social media alone,” said Mr. Soper. “The wide acceptance of social networks allows us to engage with, and learn from, our clients and prospects in a back and forth manner that wasn’t contemplated even a few years ago. Yet the massive reach and impact of television, radio and print media continue to serve us well. If an organization understands which channels best suit the communication needs of a given business strategy, they will undoubtedly accomplish more.”

“Effective stakeholder communications remain a hallmark of any successful business,” Soper continued. “The real estate industry is no exception and we have had to evolve quickly to embrace advances in communication technology and consumer preference in an effort to enhance the home buying experience. It is an honour to accept this award recognizing Royal LePage REALTORS’™ success in helping Canadians pursue their home ownership dreams.”

Since assuming the leadership, Soper’s company has tripled in revenue while more than doubling the size of its agent salesforce to 16,000 professionals.   These efforts have been recognized throughout the real estate industry. Real Estate Marketing Magazine recently named him “one of the 25 most important leaders of the past 25 years.” He was featured in a nationally syndicated 2011 feature entitled, “The LinkedIn Diaries” which focused on Mr. Soper’s success as a CEO who utilized social media to effectively engage with a geographically dispersed workforce that numbers in the thousands. And early in 2015, Swanepoel Trends ranked him the most influential person in Canadian real estate and the 18th most powerful globally.

After a successful career with information technology giant IBM, Mr. Soper joined the Royal LePage family in 2000 to lead the Royal LePage Corporate Relocation business. After 18 months he was named the president of Royal LePage Real Estate and in 2002 was appointed CEO.

“This is the first year the award has been given to an individual in the real estate industry,” said CPRS Toronto CEO Award Chair Vincent Power, APR. “CPRS is proud to award Mr. Soper the honour due to his ability to create communication channels available to his employees and clients across Canada, which has contributed to the ongoing success of Royal LePage Real Estate.”

The selection committee for the CPRS Toronto Award is made up of past CPRS Toronto presidents, all of whom are accredited Public Relations professionals.

CEO Award Recipients are:

  • John E. Betts, CEO of McDonald’s Canada® (2014-2015)
  • Sheldon Levy, President and vice chancellor of Ryerson University (2013-2014)
  • Robert S. Bell, CEO of the University Health Network (2011-2012)
  • Jim Leech, CEO of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (2010-2011)
  • Robert Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Airlines (2009-2010)
  • Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited (2008-2009)
  • Frances Lankin, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto (2007-2008)
  • The late Richard Bradshaw, General Director, Canadian Opera Company (2006-2007)
  • Michael Budman and Don Green, Co-founders, Roots Canada (2005-2006)
  • Wayne Sales, President and CEO, Canadian Tire (2004-2005)
  • Piers Handling, CEO, Toronto International Film Festival (2003-2004)
  • Julian Fantino, Police Chief, Toronto Police Service (2002-2003)
  • Charles Baillie, Chair, TD Bank Financial Group (2001-2002)
  • Dominic D’Alessandro, President and CEO, Manulife Financial (2000-2001)
  • Bobbie Gaunt, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada (1999-2000)
  • Diane McGarry, President and CEO, Xerox Canada Inc. (1998-1999)
  • Allan Stark, President and CEO, American Express Company Canada (1997-1998)
  • George Cohon, President and CEO, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada (1996-1997)
  • John Cassaday, President and CEO, CTV (1995-1996)
  • David Bloom, President and CEO, Shoppers Drug Mart (1992-1993)
  • Peter H. Ellis, President and CEO, Sunnybrook Medical Centre (1991-1992)

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 over 600 members. For more information, please visit: http://www.cprstoronto.com.

Special thanks to our sponsors of the 2014 CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Vincent Power, APR, CPRS Toronto CEO Award Chair
416-941-4422
pastpresident@cprstoronto.com

For Royal LePage:
Ray McIlroy
Kaiser Lachance Communications
O: 647-725-2520 x215
C: 647-680-8316
ray.mcilroy@kaiserlachance.com

Focus on Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper: An Effective Leader with Words and Actions

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CEO award of excellence in public relations_edited-1The old adage, “actions speak louder than words” may be true in certain circumstances, but words are required in today’s society to create connection and understanding. The spoken word can be used to lead and influence action.

Communication through active listening, authenticity, humble confidence and connection is one of the most effective leadership tools. Without a clear message, even the best cause or idea would go unnoticed, or worse; obtain a negative or incorrect connotation.

As we near the luncheon to honour this year’s recipient of the CPRS Toronto CEO of the Year Award in Public Relations, it is interesting to see how effective communications has helped create positive results throughout history.

Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafazi, Eric “Astro” Teller, and Jack Welch. These names represent people who have caused incredible positive changes throughout the world. Change is a process that can be long and arduous; it takes consistency, passion and effective communication. We must never underestimate the importance of effective communication; it is the common platform where influence, inspiration and unity are built.

Nelson Mandela is known as one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. He is famous for promoting a message of forgiveness and equality. Mandela actively listened to what was going on around him, which led to his passionate fight against apartheid. Although he was sentenced to life in prison, Mandela continued to put respect and forgiveness above all else. He insisted on having a respectful relationship with prison guards and other prisoners. This practice gave him influence to have them understand his perspective. Ending apartheid was a long and difficult battle, but Mandela never strayed from his key message. He was authentic and humbly confident in his message of forgiveness and equality; his actions spoke as loud as his words.

Malala Yousafazi is a modern symbol of influence. She survived a Taliban assassination attempt, which only fuelled her passion for female education activism. Malala actively speaks out with great energy, authenticity and confidence. Malala has a clear point of view for the cause of freedom and education for all; she is inspirational, focused and articulate. Malala is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner. At the ceremony, her speech included her powerful statement, “I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not.” Malala is an active listener and builds connection with her audience whether they are survivors in the same fight or not. Building connection is an integral part of effective communication because it helps to create awareness, understanding and further action.

Eric “Astro” Teller is Google’s “Chief of Moonshots” in their Google X division. The Google X division is a team of people who take on the impossible (i.e. moon shots). The inspirational quote, “shoot for the moon because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” sums up the work performed at Google X. However, when you’re striving to reach the impossible, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Even if you land among the stars from time to time, constantly failing a moon shot will take a toll on motivation. This is where Astro shines as an effective communicator, both internally and externally. As a scientist and entrepreneur, Astro understands the technical aspects of his job, but also has the ability to engage with the general public and be easy to understand. He is able to communicate by telling stories and really connecting with his audience. Astro is authentic as a scientist who believes in his work, and is humbly confident in every shot he takes at the moon.

Jack Welch is known for his track record of success and the way he transformed General Electric (GE) from a $13 billion company into a $525 billion giant. When working to create change in a business or in other areas of life, effective communication is needed to develop understanding and acceptance. Change is a process and it requires everyone involved to believe the change is necessary or relevant. Welch developed new procedures for GE, but he would have experienced resistance before their implementation. Through active listening, Welch understood areas of GE that were under-performing. This process built trust in his humble confidence and enabled GE employees to see Welch as an ally and not someone to resist. Through effective communication, Welch was able to provide an understanding of the direction GE needed to go and acceptance of the new procedures. Without employees to champion and use new procedures or ideas, GE would not have been able to grow.

Communication through active listening, authenticity, humble confidence and connection is one of the most effective leadership tools. Whether you are communicating with one person, a room full of people, or millions in a crowd, the process of effective communication remains the same.

Phil Soper is the recipient of the 2014 CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations because of his work in defining Royal LePage’s vision and communicating it with impact across Canada. Phil believes in the act of engaging people, active listening, leadership through voluntary engagement, and sharing his insight. If you’re following Phil on Twitter, you already know he has insightful knowledge to share and excellent communication skills. He was an early adopter of social media as a tool to enhance his firm’s effectiveness and communications reach.

Phil believes in his work; home ownership is an incredibly personal and substantial part of many Canadians’ lives. Realtors are helping hundreds of thousands of Canadians to chase their dreams, and Phil knows that improving communications and procedures for realtors will positively impact their clients. Since assuming his current role at the helm of Royal LePage in 2002, the business has more than tripled revenue and doubled agent count. Communications can be a game changer when it’s effective, and Phil has given us another example of authentic, humble confidence being a base for creating connection, understanding and positive change.

Join the Canadian Public Relations Society (Toronto) on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at noon at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street West as the Society honours Phil Soper from Royal LePage as the winner of the 2014 CEO of the Year Award in Public Relations.
For tickets information please click HERE.