Messages from the CPRS President


Best Wishes
March 20, 2014

Dear CPRS Members,

Without a doubt, it has been a fun, interesting, and challenging two years as president of CPRS. It has been a sincere privilege to have had the opportunity to meet so many CPRS members from coast to coast and hear their thoughts about the value of their national Society and the future of our profession. Your National Board, working alongside staff and a long list of volunteers, has worked diligently over the past couple of years to deliver on members' priorities.

Here's just a few of the highlights of our work together:


  • Made major new investments in key areas, such as supporting the Pathways to the Profession® framework and development of the new Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam;
  • Built a foundation of new membership recruitment and retention initiatives that will serve us well for years to come;
  • Delivered high quality professional development content through more national webinars and mini-conferences than ever before;
  • Generated a record number of entries in our Awards of Excellence program;
  • Continued to deliver a world-class Accreditation program that is the envy of other professional associations in Canada and around the globe; and
  • Reformed our Society's governance structures and processes.

To top it off, we are set to deliver an amazing National Conference in Banff in May. I hope to see you there. It's an excellent opportunity to learn, re-connect with old friends and make new ones, and enjoy the camaraderie of public relations and communications people from across the country.

In closing, I'd like to take one final opportunity to thank CPRS members and volunteers, the National Office staff, my employer for allowing me the time to give back to the profession, and of course, the National Board. I will truly miss leading such an incredible group of talented and dedicated public relations professionals. Best wishes to all.

Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President

Volunteering: A Rewarding Way to Give Back
January 23, 2014

Dear CPRS Members,

Volunteers are the life blood of any professional association, and CPRS is certainly no different. Our national and local awards, accreditation, and professional development programs, to name a few, simply wouldn't function without extensive volunteer engagement and support. Our Society is indebted to each and every one of our members who invests time and expertise to help out.

You often hear people say, "The more you give the society, the more you receive in return". That is absolutely right, and is exactly why so many of us give freely of our time.

So if you are looking to give back, resolve to volunteer with your local chapter or the National Society in 2014. There are a wide variety of opportunities available to suit your interest, expertise, and the time you are able to commit. Some are ongoing and recurring roles available, but there are also plenty of task or time specific areas to fit your needs.

Along the way, you'll expand your network, learn a thing or two, make some new friends, and most important of all, do something meaningful to help support the public relations profession. If you are interested in learning about what openings and opportunities exist, please contact me.

I hope you have a healthy and prosperous year ahead!

Best wishes,

Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President


Your Professional Achievement
November 13, 2013

Dear CPRS Members,

The fall season is the perfect time to reflect on your professional development (PD) goals. Whether you are a CPRS student, a new practitioner, or a seasoned professional, your National Society has PD content and opportunities to suit you. Key offerings include the Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam, for students and junior practitioners new to the profession; the APR designation, for professionals with a depth of experience and competence in the profession; and the CPRS Fellowship, for members who are proven leaders in industry and who have made exceptional contributions to the field of public relations and the National Society. Each opportunity has unique requirements and benefits. Here are a few details and deadlines:

  • The PRK Exam was written in September 2013 with participants awaiting results. The next PRK Exam is January 25, 2014.
  • 2013 APR candidates recently completed oral and written exams in October and successful candidates will be announced by the National Office next month. The deadline to enter the 2014 process as an APR candidate is December 2, 2013.
  • The National Office will announce the most recent Fellows to enter the CPRS College of Fellows in the next few weeks. The next application deadline is September 2014.

It's also a good time to think about participating in the flagship PD offering from CPRS: the National Conference. ASCEND 2014 is being held in beautiful Banff, Alberta from May 25-27, 2014 and will have a long list of unique and professional development offerings, keynote speakers, and workshops for you no matter what stage you are at in your career, not to mention plenty of networking events and social activities. I hope to see you there. As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please contact me via email or the telephone number below.

Best wishes,

Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President


Connecting to your National Society
September 24, 2013

Dear CPRS Members,

I hope members are tapping into the wide-range of national CPRS resources, events, and offerings to help support you in your work and build your career.

More than anything else, our members tell us they want compelling, relevant and leading edge professional development content from their National Society. And that's exactly what we're delivering.

For starters, the National Society has been delivering mini-conferences in various locations across the country. The last three were P.E.I. in September 2012, Montreal in March 2013 and Halifax this September.

We are also once again offering a series of national "member-only" professional development webinars throughout the year. The next one is on Wednesday, Oct. 16 and will be presented by a gold Award of Excellence winner in the marketing communications category. Check out the professional development section of the national website for more details. The webinars are intended to provide members with first-hand insights on the planning and execution of award-winning campaigns.

Of course, one of the other main professional development offerings by your National Society is the annual CPRS Conference.

The Ottawa-Gatineau Conference in June was an amazing event, thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers and staff. Next time, the CPRS National Conference swings west. On May 25th to 27th 2014, CPRS members and guests will gather at the Banff Springs Hotel to learn, network, enjoy the fresh air, and ASCEND to new heights.

The conference website will go live this week. New this year: CPRS Members who register before October 25th, 2013 will receive a full conference registration for $995.00 + GST.

(Don't forget, for every person you refer who successfully becomes a member of CPRS, there is a $100 credit you can use towards the cost of any national offering, including conference registration!)

Working together, we are delivering a growing list of professional development opportunities to enable members to learn, network, and socialize, which is exactly what CPRS is all about.


Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President


The Importance of Governance
May 15, 2013

Dear CPRS Members,

Governance often seems to be one of the least exciting aspects of a vibrant membership organization, but it's the one that makes all the others work, now and over the long term. So, when each of you receives your package of materials for the Annual General Meeting in the next few weeks, I hope you'll take a moment to consider the proposals to the governance of our organization, and demonstrate your support.

The proposals touch the national governance structure by preparing for compliance with new federal not-for-profit legislation. Additional proposals are designed to strengthen leadership planning, increase the effective use of volunteer and staff resources and establish or strengthen standards that will enhance those in place for the member societies that are the lifeblood of CPRS.

Throughout the last three years of research and member consultation that have led to these proposals, the Governance Committee has undertaken to identify any additional ongoing supports to this process, particularly at the largely volunteer-driven local level. One exciting outcome of the work to date has been the development of an “Society Operations Manual” for member societies that provides guidance on a wide range of aspects that have stumped many incoming local board members – everything from how to run an annual general meeting to a professional development event checklist to financial record keeping and regulatory compliance. With significant input from the frontlines via the Presidents' Council, CPRS anticipates making this a comprehensive and continually updated resource no member society can – or should – operate without.

Perhaps one of the most encouraging things throughout the last three years has been member engagement in the consultation, including almost 170 members from all over the country who provided feedback to the initial proposals. Your positive support, suggestions and comments were all utilized by the committee in developing the final proposals you will be asked to vote on, in person or by proxy at the AGM in Ottawa. As a final step, we'll also be holding an all members webinar May 16th, 1pm Eastern to review the proposals and answer any questions. I hope you will take the opportunity to join us.


Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President


One Simple Act of Membership
March 8, 2013

Greetings CPRS Members!

I hope 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for you. And I hope you are tapping into the wide-range of local and national CPRS resources, events, and offerings to help support your work and build your career. The National Society, in partnership with your local Society, has designated March as Membership Month. We will be rolling out some special offers to help attract new CPRS members.

But we also need your help. I’m inviting you to help build your Society by committing to one simple act of membership during the month of March. Specifically, reaching out to at least one person in your personal or professional network who you think would benefit from membership in CPRS, and ask that they consider joining. If we all take even a small bit of time and effort to grow our Society, we will be expanding the CPRS network, and able to deliver more value for all members.

And don’t forget, there is $100 credit available to all current national members who successfully refer someone for membership in CPRS. The credit can be used toward all national programs and offerings, to help pay for things like membership fees, awards submissions, national conference registration, and accreditation fees.

Thank you for your help! I look forward to welcoming a whole bunch of new members in March.



Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President


The Future of CPRS National Conferences
January 18, 2013

Dear CPRS Members,

Over the years, the CPRS National Society has delivered some outstanding annual conferences. Victoria, Saint John, Regina, Vancouver, Halifax, Edmonton, Hamilton/Niagara Falls, the list goes on and on. Ottawa is next up in June 2013, and thanks to the work of the local conference committee and the National Office, it is shaping up to an amazing event. We are proud to also announce that the 2014 CPRS National Conference will be in May 2014 at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta. I hope to see you there too.

As you may know, to make these annual conferences successful over the years, we’ve relied on teams of local volunteers. And they have done an incredible job of doing most of the planning, organizing, and managing of our annual CPRS Conference, with the National Office playing more of a support role.

Organizing a national conference is a huge undertaking. In many cases, these volunteers were trying to do all this work on the side of their desks, alongside a full plate of other work, family, and other responsibilities. At the same time, there was a high level of financial risk assumed by the National Society, but without the corresponding responsibility. It’s time to change that.

Following consultations with local Society presidents, and after thoughtful deliberations by the National Board, we have decided to move to a new model for planning and managing our annual CPRS Conference.

Starting with Banff in 2014, the team at the National Office will assume primary responsibility for all the planning, management, logistics, and budgeting for the annual CPRS National Conferences.

Local societies will still have the responsibility of making recommendations about conference themes, professional development content (especially ideas about local issues and presenters), and helping to organize and host the social events. And, of course, they will be expected to help provide volunteers to help during the actual conference. But most of the heavy lifting in terms of planning, organizing, and managing in advance of the conference and the awards gala will be done by the National Office.

Our goal is to ensure greater consistency from conference to conference in terms of professional development, attendance, and other outcomes. But most of all, we also want to ensure the experience is a positive one for CPRS members who attend, and more properly leverage the involvement of our local CPRS volunteers.

We will be working out the details of the new conference model over the next couple of months and will be communicating more information out to the membership soon. And we have already initiated discussions with CPRS Calgary as the local host society for the 2014 National Conference in Banff. I welcome your feedback on this new model.



Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President

Accreditation. Are you ready?
November 9, 2012

Dear CPRS Members,

With the December 3rd application deadline looming, it's a good time to reflect on the CPRS accreditation program.

As most members are aware, CPRS offers a voluntary certification program that distinguishes those practitioners who have achieved a certain level of experience, competency and professionalism in public relations.

Those who have successfully completed the accreditation program receive the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. Many talk about the sense of personal and professional accomplishment that comes with being recognized by their peers for having reached an important career milestone.

Accredited members who have been through the evaluation process have a high opinion of the APR. In the 2011 national member survey, 89 per cent of accredited members had a favourable or very favourable opinion of the APR and, 93 per cent of those with an APR would be highly likely or likely to recommend the APR program to others.

The content and structure of the CPRS accreditation program remains strong. The National Council on Accreditation constantly reviews the program and surveys volunteers and APR candidates to ensure it meets the needs of our members while maintaining high standards.

Perhaps the most common question we hear from those considering whether to pursue the APR designation is: "Am I ready?" In response, the Accreditation Council has prepared a self-assessment tool to help prospective candidates decide if they are ready to proceed. There are also a variety of other supports available for those who are interested and qualified to apply.

Finally, any discussion about our accreditation program wouldn't be complete without a tip of the hat to the incredible group of more than 60 accredited members from across the country who volunteer their time and effort to make our program so successful. Everyone from local accreditation chairs, invigilators, and graders to regional examiners, the chief examiner, and of course, the National Council on Accreditation members, all play a part.

With the support of our hard-working and dedicated staff at the National Office, members can be confident and proud our accreditation program is leading the way.



Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President

A New Season Begins
September 10, 2012

Dear CPRS Members,

Good bye, summer. Hello, busy life! September is super fast-paced for many people, and it's surely no different for public relations professionals. Work is ramping up, people are plugging back in, and calendars are filling up fast. In the midst of the chaos, however, don't forget to find time for family and friends. It's a sure way to recharge.

But it's also wise to squeeze in a bit of time to hone your public relations skills and sensibilities. And CPRS is here to help. Check out a local professional development event. Or attend one of the national webinars being offered to members this year at no extra charge. Details of upcoming events are included in the September issue of the CPRS Communiqué.

Between now and the new year, I also invite you to engage in one small act of membership. Find one person in your network who is not a member of CPRS to bring along to a local event. Or chat up a colleague at work about joining the CPRS family. Growing our membership over the next few months is a priority for your national society. If we can add more people, that means more resources to boost professional development for members, more influence within the profession, and more fellow members to add to your own network.

Membership referral certainly has its rewards. For every person successfully referred into membership, you the member will receive a $100 credit toward any national offering, whether it's an awards submission, your membership dues, or the national conference. It's a great way to help CPRS grow. For more details, check out the website or call the national office.

Over the coming months, I hope to visit many of our local societies, attend local events, and meet as many members as possible. In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback about any and all things CPRS, please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to a productive (and busy) final few months of 2012!



Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President

Building a Stronger Society
June 22, 2012

Dear CPRS Members,

It will be an honour to serve as CPRS National President over the year ahead. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such great colleagues on the board, as well as an outstanding national office team.

It will come as no surprise to many of you that my theme for the coming year will be membership growth. Certainly not to the exclusion of other important priorities, such as continued growth of the Pathways to the Profession initiative, improvements to the national awards program, or building another successful and fun national conference (thank you to all the volunteers, staff, and Members who came together to make the Victoria Conference such a incredible experience!)

But rather, as a fundamental issue we must get right. The long-term success of our Society depends on it.

Total membership in CPRS has been static for several years now. Every year we recruit 300-400 new members, and every year we lose approximately 300-400. We grow a bit in total membership numbers, then fall back. Even a relatively small improvement in retention levels will help CPRS grow.

Over the coming year, a few things will be happening. First of all, we will be launching a new task force focused on finding new strategies to allow us to retain more existing members year over year. Building a stronger value proposition will be at the top of that list.

But we need to add more new members each year too. Bringing another 200 new members into the fold each year on top of the expected 300 new members would also help the Society grow, and fast.

That's where you – the member – comes in. We need your help to recruit 200 new members between now and March 31, 2013. We need each member to think of one person in their own personal and professional networks who would make a solid CPRS member. Think of how many new members we would have if half (or even a third!) of our total membership referred someone for membership!

So raise your hand. Help your professional association. Convince at least one other person to join CPRS. And don't forget, for every individual you refer who is successfully accepted into the National Society, you receive a $100 credit (up to a maximum of $800). The credits can be used toward paying for things like national awards, membership dues, accreditation, and national conference.

It's truly a win-win-win situation. CPRS wins by gaining another member (and hopefully a local volunteer), the new Member wins by gaining access to all the benefits of CPRS, and you win with referral credits.

I'll start the ball rolling. I will personally commit to refer at least three public relations professionals I know who could be considered for CPRS membership.

Our goal is 200 new members by March 31, 2013. Can you help by finding at least one between now and next March?

I look forward to a fun and productive year ahead. Thank you for your support!



Richard Truscott, APR
CPRS National President

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