The Year Ahead
June 18, 2015
It's been twenty years since I joined CPRS. My boss at the time encouraged me to sign up, and offered to cover the related expenses. He was a long time member and spoke of the many benefits. Acting on his advice, and armed with his support I sent my membership application in.
My connection to CPRS has provided me with the opportunity to grow my knowledge base and learn best practices in the field of communications and public relations. I've been tested and had my work experience and skills undergo a rigorous accreditation process. It has provided me with leadership opportunities on the local and national stage. It has been a source of connection and place where lifelong friendships have emerged.
Now 20 years later, many PR practitioners do not enjoy the luxury of having their employer fully support their membership or participation in professional development events like the national conference. This means PR practitioners face difficult decisions about their professional development, and if they invest in CPRS, they expect value for that investment.
There are significant benefits to being a member of CPRS. There are tangible benefits like discounted rates for professional development events, access to a national awards program, or the PRK or accreditation program. There are more intangible benefits like being a part of a network of peers, or belonging to an organization who advocates for the vital role public relations plays in our business world and society in general.
Recently, CPRS worked with Leger on a national survey of members and non-members. The results of this survey were shared at the 2015 National Conference in Montreal earlier this month. Full results are available on the member only section of the CPRS website. There were over 500 responses from members, representing roughly 1/3 of our membership. There were close to 100 responses from non-members.
When asked why members renew their CPRS membership, the top four answers were as follows:
- Professional Development (59%)
- Stay on top of industry and technological trends (46%)
- Networking and business development (44%)
- Professional Accreditation – APR (41%)
We are pleased to see our key member services rate so highly, but we know we cannot rest on our laurels. We know our members have more choices than resources when it comes to investing in memberships and professional development events.
If CPRS is to continue to be the association of choice for public relations and communications professionals in Canada, we must continually strive to ensure we are meeting our members' expectations.
I encourage you to get involved with your association. If you see an opportunity to improve a service or benefit to our members, be proactive. CPRS relies on our members to help drive many of the programs we provide. There are many committees and councils on both the local and national level supported by volunteers passionate about making CPRS as strong as possible. I encourage you to get involved on the local or national level and lend your support and your vision.
It is an honour to serve as the 59th National President for the Canadian Public Relations Society. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the many volunteers who serve CPRS, including the executives of the 14 different local member societies who deliver CPRS membership benefits in the communities our members reside.
I look forward to a great year ahead.
Renee McCloskey, APR
Canadian Public Relations Society