Benefits & Services
Since 1948, CPRS has been dedicated to promoting professionalism in the practice of public relations and offers a variety of benefits and services.
As a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society, you will have access to a wide range of opportunities, services and products of professional and personal benefit. These include:
- Employer Group Membership (EGM) program
- Perkopolis: member-only exclusive discounts
- Law Assist – An Enhanced Legal & Financial Benefit Plan
- UPS Canada Member Benefit Program
- Member Referral Program
CPRS Members: We need your help!
As you may know, our National Society has big plans to implement the National Council on Education's new Pathways to the Profession® initiative, as well as improve services for members and expand our accreditation program. CPRS needs your help to keep the ball rolling by finding new members so the Society can continue to grow and invest in these critical new longer-term strategies.
If every current CPRS member found one new member each, think about how fast we would grow! Is there a person at work, or perhaps someone in your professional network, who would be a great addition to our membership?
Now there's an even bigger reason to make referrals. As of December 1, 2011, every CPRS member will receive a $100 credit for each new referral that is approved for membership. The credits can be used toward national programs and offerings, including award entrance fees, webinars, accreditation costs, membership renewal fees or the annual Canadian Public Relations Conference. Note that if you refer a new Affiliate member, the credit is $50 only.
It's a simple process; just make sure prospective members use your name as the referring member on their printed or online membership application forms. Or simply email Elizabeth Tang, Membership Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide her with the contact details (make sure you've had a discussion with the prospect and they have agreed to be contacted). Your referral credits will be tracked by the National Office and will be available for your use.
Between now and the end of March, I will be dropping into meetings and delivering messages to remind members of the value to both themselves and CPRS of referring at least one person for membership. Thank you very much. Every new member can make a big difference.
Richard Truscott, APR
Chair, CPRS Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee
About the Member Referral Program
How does it work?
It’s simple – you refer a friend, colleague or acquaintance in the public relations industry to join CPRS. Once they are welcomed as a full national member within any CPRS Member Society, you receive a $100 credit that can be applied toward your accreditation application, awards applications, national conference registration, or member renewal fees. You must ensure the applicant lists you as the referring member.
How will CPRS know it was me who referred the member?
The print and online applications have been updated to include a “Referring Member” section. Your prospective member must complete this section for you to receive credit.
Is there a limit to how many people I can refer? Do I have to keep track of my own credits?
CPRS Members will receive credit for up to eight (8) referrals within a one year period that result in a new full member joining CPRS. CPRS National will track your credits. You can view these online by logging into the member area at www.cprs.ca.
Can I apply my credits to my local professional development events?
No. Because the Member Referral Program is a national CPRS program, credits are tracked only by CPRS National and cannot be used toward events or programs organized by individual Member Societies.
- Leadership Opportunities
A member-driven society, CPRS National is directed by an elected volunteer board of directors and various councils, committees and task forces with a leadership of professionals who are experts in the industry. There are numerous opportunities to become involved on both a national and local level.
As a national CPRS member, the newest opportunity to further your leadership skills is becoming a speaker with the CPRS Expert Centre program.
In addition, Society leaders promote the profession through media interviews, presentations to business audiences, strategic planning and a strict adherence to the Code of Professional Standards.
- Membership Dues and Affiliate Membership FAQs
When was the last increase in National membership dues?
The Membership dues had not increased in the past eight (8) years. The last increase which was $40 was approved at the June 2003 AGM and became effective January 1, 2004. The increase was required in order to establish a surplus position for CPRS. At the year ending 2002, CPRS National organization was more than $60,000 in debt. The new $40 increase which was approved by a majority of voting members at the Annual General Meeting becomes effective January 1, 2012.
Why did CPRS wait so long to increase the dues?
Since 2006, CPRS has operated with significant surpluses due largely to an expansion of non membership dues revenue from our national conference surpluses, industry partner support and the Career File. However, the Strategic Plan outlines new initiatives for CPRS in the coming years and a dues increase is needed to fund new programs including the Pathways to the Profession™ program.
What are the dues of other PR associations?
The national annual dues for CPRS are now $260 which compares to Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI) at $645 (without chapter dues) and IABC at CDN$281.36 (without a chapter fee).
How will this affect my local Society dues?
Local society dues are not affected by the increase. Those dues are set by the local Society. CPRS National has no jurisdiction on those fees.
What will the additional revenue be used for?
The membership fee increase will be used to support the new Strategic Plan and new initiatives. Because of its scope, however, new investments will be required to achieve what is envisioned.
This ambitious plan is a forward-thinking document that will further establish CPRS as the association of choice for public relations and communications professionals across Canada. However, we were not well-positioned financially to grow new initiatives and we would certainly not be able to accomplish many of the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan without additional member dues.
We estimate costs will be partly offset by revenues associated with participation in these new programs. There is, however, clearly a need for additional resources if this important new initiative and other key parts of our new strategic plan are to be fully and successfully implemented.
We have worked hard to find the necessary resources within the current revenue stream, but ultimately realized it would not be feasible without affecting the quality and integrity of the Society’s other valued programs and services.
What are the plans for the Education Council?
The Board has approved the National Council on Education’s request for funding to hire a Director of Education to work in the National Office to launch two new programs for educational institutions and graduates of public relations programs in Canada. The recognition program is geared at post-secondary institutions and will provide a consistent framework for the delivery of public relations and communications education in Canada. The Public Relations Knowledge™ (PRK) exam is targeted for graduating students as an entry to practice test as a means to recognize their body of knowledge.
The recognition program and PRK exam are being marketed to the academic community and the program implementation is being handled by the Director of Education. The National Council on Education estimates that the cost will be partly offset by new non dues revenues associated with participation in these new programs. The cost of managing the programs and staff time will account for most of the additional revenue received from dues.
Previously, the By-Laws provided for only two types of Membership at the National level - Member and Associate. Member is intended for practitioners who work more than 50% of their time in public relations. The definition of Associate is for anyone working less than 50% of their time in public relations and both carry the same fee. The Associate Member category is used primarily for suppliers to the industry. The new Affiliate Member category is intended for recent graduates and anyone working less than two years in the profession.
Why do we need an Affiliate Category of Membership at National?
Following extensive consultation with Members and stakeholder groups, and using the detailed Pathways to the Profession™ document as their guide, the Council has recommended CPRS launch two new programs in 2011 for educational institutions and graduates of public relations programs in Canada. The public relations and communications knowledge exam is open to anyone interested in testing their body of knowledge, and the institution recognition program will all be promoted to the academic community and the membership with program implementation handled by the CPRS national office.
Graduates and others who take the Public Relations Knowledge™ exam will be required to join CPRS and to facilitate the transition from student to new practitioner; the Board approved a recommendation to add a new category of membership at the National level. The new Affiliate category is intended for professionals with less than two years of public relations work experience. After two years of membership at the Affiliate level, the member would be required to renew as a full member.
What is the fee for the new national Affiliate Category of membership?
The Board of Directors approved the National Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee's recommendation that the dues structure for this category of membership would be 50% of the National dues ($260/2 = $130) + local Society dues/2 = X + initiation fee ($50/2= $25). So the new Affiliate member would pay National $155 + 50% of the local Society fee + applicable HST/GST.
If the Affiliate applicant is an existing local Society student member the initiation fee would be waived. PRSA has this national category of membership - called Associate Member for anyone with less than two years experience in public relations and the annual dues are $155.
- Local Member Societies
14 Member Societies across Canada. Most Member Societies conduct regular meetings, educational sessions-seminars and other events to promote and assist the exchange of personal and professional advancement.
The CPRS accreditation is a respected measure of professional experience in public relations. This program recognizes the dedication, energy, perseverance and competence of successful public relations professionals.
The goals of the CPRS accreditation program are to
- assure professional competence
- establish standards for professional practice
- increase recognition for the profession within business and the community
- influence the direction of the profession.
The exam is offered to eligible candidates once a year. Candidates submit a detailed application form and work sample.
- Member Recognition
Each year CPRS recognizes leaders in the industry with several prominent Awards.
- The CPRS National Awards honour outstanding performance and service by our members exclusively. They are truly Canadian and national in character, showcasing our country's best public relations talent.
- CPRS also honours a select group of members for their years of service and outstanding contribution through the esteemed College of Fellows.
- Professional Development
Each year, CPRS hosts an education conference. The event includes daily general sessions and concurrent educational programs pertinent to the practice of public relations as well as providing unique networking opportunities with public relations professionals from across Canada.
In addition to National efforts to continuing education, local Member Societies host workshops, seminars and tutorials throughout the year.
The CPRS Expert Centre program also offers professional development opportunities for Member Societies to host speakers from across Canada.
CPRS has negotiated special member rates with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for their educational offerings including home study programs, videos, conference attendance and membership to PRSA Special Interest Groups.
CPRS also promotes education excellence through its Education Standard and Curriculum Guide.
Distributed approximately six times per year, the CPRS newsletter allows members to keep current on important Society and professional news.
- Global Alliance
Through the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management accreditation achieved by a practitioner is recognized by 11 organizations who have signed reciprocal agreements. A reciprocity initiative aimed to forge formal links with public relations societies worldwide and explore opportunities for international co-operation. To date, CPRS and the following public relations organizations: Public Relations Society of America, Public Relations Institute of Australia; Institute of Public Relations, Ghana; Public Relations Institute of Ireland; Public Relations Institute of New Zealand; Puerto Rico Association of Public Relations Professionals; Institute of Public Relations of Singapore; Public Relations Society of Slovenia; Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa; and Chartered Institute of Public Relations, United Kingdom have agreed to recognize each other's professional accreditation on a reciprocal basis in accordance with signed reciprocity agreements.
- CPRS Expert Centre
The CPRS Expert Centre showcases the talents and services of some of the most dynamic and exciting PR practitioners in the country. Our speakers are leaders in what they do and can educate, inspire and motivate your audience
The Expert Centre was created to help local member societies locate speakers to develop cost-effective professional development opportunities. With the Expert Centre, you can select national speakers according to your budget.
- Full access to CPRS Web site Resources
The CPRS Web site is your link to a world of resources and information about the public relations profession from a variety of sources.
In its Member-only section, CPRS provides access to a number of tools and resource sites to help further your knowledge and expertise in public relations.
- National Resource Library
The CPRS' National Resource Library, located in Calgary's Mount Royal College, provides access to a broad collection of English and French case studies, award winning public relations programs and other PR information sources. It hosts the finest work by Canadian practitioners, including the winning entrants of the CPRS Awards of Excellence competition and accreditation work samples.
- CPRS Career File
Whether you are recruiting or job hunting, the CPRS Employment Opportunities Web Site has been designed to service Canada`s public relations and communications industry from coast to coast and in both official languages.
Sponsored by the CPRS, this is a free service for public relations and communications professionals seeking new employment opportunities. Employment listings are updated weekly.
As a member of CPRS, you will have access to a wide range of free services and discounts on products of professional and personal benefit. These include
- CPRS Membership Directory
- Accreditation Handbook
- The Public Relations Strategist (PRSA)
- Public Relations Tactics (PRSA)
- PR Week
CPRS Membership Directory
This annual directory contains the name, title and organization of all members in good standing listed by Member Society, alphabetically and by industry category for easy reference.
This guide details the criteria for qualifying and applying for the CPRS Accreditation program.
The Public Relations Strategist
This quarterly publication by PRSA focuses on strategic public relations issues. Each issue features a CEO interview that examines the role of PR in highly successful organizations. Articles are written by leading practitioners on research measurements, corporate strategies and key issues facing the profession. CPRS members can subscribe to The Strategist at a special member rate, paid in Canadian funds. Download the application form.
Public Relations Tactics
This award-winning monthly newspaper by PRSA delivers practical, how-to information by PR practitioners. Cover stories analyze the PR implications behind major news events. CPRS members can subscribe to Tactics at a special member rate, paid in Canadian funds. Download the application form
A special offer for Members: Subscribe to PRWeek and Save 33%!
In a partnership with CPRS, PRWeek is offering Members a year’s subscription to PRWeek for just US$199, a savings of 33% off the regular Canadian rate. As a subscriber, you will receive:
- One full year (50 weekly issues) of PRWeek–presenting the latest industry developments, including trends, statistics, account wins, and the PR Play of the Week
- The PRWeek Canadian Newsletter – a weekly e-newsletter specifically created for the Canadian PR professional with content presented by a Canadian-based PRWeek contributor.
- Subscriber-only online access to PRWeek.com - including news, features, and archives updated
- Annual Supplements and Features including The Agency Business Report, 40 under 40, Salary Survey and more!
- A daily e-newsletter and the option to receive other weekly newsletters covering the healthcare, consumer, technology, and services markets
To take advantage of this benefit for CPRS Members only, complete the online form or contact the CPRS support desk at PRWeek: CPRS phone support: (646) 638-6048 or CPRS e-mail support: email@example.com
- 2012 Renewal Payment Plan Option
The CPRS Board approved the Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee's recommendation to offer a Payment Plan Option for CPRS National and Local membership dues effective immediately. Members in Quebec continue to renew through SQPRP.
The CPRS National dues will be charged in three equal payments and the Local Society dues, plus a $12 annual service fee, will be charged in full in the first payment. Second payment after 30 days and third payment after 60 days.
This option is not available when renewing online by credit card. Payments must be made using post dated cheques.
Contact Elizabeth Tang, Manager, Membership in the National Office for details on renewing under the Payment Plan. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-239-7034.