Tag Archives: presidents message

President’s Message: 2017 YOU’VE ARRIVED – THANK GOODNESS!


The year of the Fire Rooster is upon us and since it only comes every 60 years, let’s make our mark! Efficient hard work filled with integrity is the key to meeting goals and achieving success this year1.  We are looking forward to another successful year at CPRS Toronto, with an enthusiastic team on the Board of Directors working on some exciting projects.


The 2017 ACE Awards have been announced and the deadline will be here before you know it, so get started and submit your awe-inspiring campaigns and be recognized by your peers.  Want to display your hard work at Illuminate 2017? The Jan. 30 deadline to be part of the 2017 Research program in Kelowna, is a few weeks away.


We will also have a robust calendar of professional development events, so stay tuned for more details in the coming months!



Danielle Kelly, APR

Erica Silver, APR, MA

Co-Presidents, CPRS Toronto


  1. http://www.sunsigns.org/chinese-horoscope-2017/

President’s message: Join us for coffee Nov. 8

Coffee at Balzac's

Coffee at Balzac’s

Over the past two months I have had the pleasure of meeting with some of our new members over coffee.  (If you are available on November 8th, email me to confirm and join us at Balzac’s at the Toronto Reference Library).   While all were at varying stages in their careers, everyone I met mentioned it was the opportunity to network with other public relations practitioners – to share ideas and get advice – as the reason they choose to join CPRS Toronto.

In light of this, we are committed to hosting more networking events this year and we are expanding our mentorship program.  Starting November 13, we will be initiating peer mentoring.  Elizabeth Verwey, author of the book The Mentors Circle will help us get our program off the ground.  This is a “members only” event. Thanks to NewsCanada for sponsoring this session.

If Boomers are from Venus, where are Millennials from?  Meet us at MaRS on November 20 and hear insights from market researcher Tanya Pyshnov on two important demographic groups we should know more about. Thanks to CNW for sponsoring this event and all our professional development events.

I hope you will take advantage of the networking and professional development events we have planned and let me or any of the board members know if you have ideas for future events.

Mary Jane

President’s Message: Establish sound strategy


The trick to the twelfth hole is to avoid the water on the left, avoid the out-of-bounds roadway on the right, land your tee shot on the right because the fairway slopes left big-time, and try not to lose your ball to the right of the green on your approach or you’ll be fighting chickens and roosters to get it back.

So much to keep in mind…how does one learn the skills to properly manage their way through a golf hole with so much to think about?  One needs to master course management.

The twelfth hole needs to be approached strategically…you have to have a sound strategy before you tee off, and then execute that strategy as you start to play the hole.

A Public Relations campaign can be like the 12th hole.  There is so much to keep in mind at one time, and one has to consider so many elements and keep so many things in balance all at one time.

A strategic approach to public relations helps practitioners manage public relations effectively from the start of a project to the end.

Where do we go to for help?  Golfers can take golf lessons, but where can we, in PR, go for help?

One of the most important tools of education we have at CPRS is the Accreditation program.  November is the last month to prepare your application for the 2013 Accreditation year.  If you’re a member of CPRS and have five years experience in the profession, you may be eligible to go for your APR designation in 2013.  Applications are due December 3rd.  I hope you will visit www.cprs.ca to get more information or contact our Co-chair of Accreditation, Kathleen Garrett at kathleen.m.garrett@gmail.com.

I found the Accreditation program to be a great learning experience in approaching PR from a strategic point of view.  It drove home, for me, the difference between tactics and execution (very necessary work) and planning strategy (the well-researched plan to determine what tactics and execution are needed).

As I look back, I see how fortunate I was to be a member of CPRS Toronto while I was obtaining my APR because I was able to participate in a Study Group.  With our substantial member base, Toronto normally has a handful of people looking to get their Accreditation in any given year, so, as candidates, we are not normally going through the APR process on our own.  Those numbers provide us the opportunity to form Study Groups with candidates like us.  The Study Group meant I could share the workload with my colleagues, get clarification, talk about the exam material and learn about experiences I would not have otherwise been exposed to.

I encourage you to complete the application process if getting your APR designation is something you’ve been considering.  I wrestled with whether the year I finally committed to Accreditation (Class of 2006) was right from a timing point of view with the pressures of my job at the time.  It was a busy year, and I considered putting it off again.  Now, as I look back, I realize subsequent years were even busier, so glad I did it when I did.

Just like golf where one can continue with their current game and be overwhelmed by that tricky 12th hole, or take lessons in course management and learn to master it, Accreditation is there for us to pursue, and we just need the determination to say Yes…this is my year!

There’s still time to get in on the 2013 program if you are interested.  Become an APR and take your career to a new level.


President’s message: Make your choice


What is it about that 11th hole on our PR golf course!  It’s a long Par 5, and it’s straight.  From the teebox, it looks like there’s nothing to worry about so you just swing your best straight shot off the tee.  As you walk towards the spot where your ball landed, you can now see that just before the green, there’s a creek that runs across the fairway bounded by tall reeds.  

This is decision time. 

There are two basic choices to consider as you take your second shot.  You can go for the green in two shots if you feel like you can clear the creek.  This will allow you to get on or near the hole in two shots (your original tee shot and the one you are about to make).  This means that you have the potential to take just two more strokes including your putts to get the ball into the hole.  If successful, you could score a 4 and birdie the hole.  Even a par score of 5 would be a good result.  Of course if you don’t clear the creek and land in it, then you have to take a penalty stroke and that’s not good.  This will mean extra strokes (bad in golf) plus…you likely lost a ball in the process.

Alternatively, rather than going for the green in two shots, you can “lay up”, which means that instead of taking your second shot over the creek, you can make a shorter shot and land just before the creek. Now you avoid trouble altogether. You can follow that up with a short shot that will easily clear the creek and land on the green. You may not make a birdie, but you could still make par, and, in the process, you removed the risk of losing your ball in the creek and really adding to your stroke count. 

Two choices that allow you to weigh risk vs. reward.    

We all face decisions like this in our day to day work. The important thing is this: once you’ve made a decision on an action, commit to it and execute it to the best of your ability. 

I hope our experienced practitioners will make the decision to volunteer as a mentor for someone new to the profession. Having been a mentor myself a couple of times, I found it to be a worthwhile experience for myself.  I learned from the protégé assigned to me, and I hope the feeling was mutual. 

I think sometimes mentoring can be viewed as one-way…mentor imparting information to protégé. Certainly, that is the purest intent of the relationship.  Experienced practitioners have so much to offer…insight, guidance, connecting, listening, reassurance, encouragement, feedback…the list goes on.  That said, it’s fascinating how much experienced practitioners can gain from the relationship.  

Another bonus about the mentorship program is how flexible it is from a scheduling and timing point of view. So many of our time commitments in our roles in public relations are determined by someone else. Finally!…we can make a schedule that suits both mentor and protégé and we get to determine the timing. How cool is that! 

I hope you will make a decision today to give some of your time and expertise to make a meaningful difference in the career development of our young professionals or those new to public relations.  

Believe me, it’s a much easier decision than determining whether you should go for the green in two or lay up. It’s also more fruitful and a lot less frustrating!  

For more information, please email: mentorship@cprstoronto.com

Vincent Power, APR