A message from our president

A message to all CPRS members, volunteers and staff from coast to coast to coast:

Your leadership, long hours and sacrifices taken to manage the challenges brought on by COVID-19 is admirable. On behalf of the CPRS National Board, know that the significant and essential role you play in the service of your organization, community and country is recognized and appreciated.

While uncertainty reigns, there’s comfort knowing we are all connected nationally and locally through our Societies, and through a global network of communications professionals more than 160,000 strong. This network that binds us is just as strong today as it was before terms like ‘social distancing’ and ‘voluntary isolation’ became commonplace. Now is the time for local Societies and members to check in on each other, if for no other reason than to say hello, we’re with you.

Know that your CPRS National team is also here for you. Although working remotely, both the Board of Directors and the head office team are still operating at full capacity. So, whether it’s renewing your membership, entering the Awards of Excellence, updating your accreditation maintenance, or anything else in between, do not hesitate to reach out.

With that said, there have been a few changes to our upcoming programs, which could not be avoided.

First, we’ve postponed the remainder of Dr. Terry Flynn’s Professional Development Tour. I want to thank Terry and the local Society teams for developing a one-of-a-kind PD learning opportunity. Terry’s first stop in Halifax was a remarkable success by all accounts, and our hope is to follow it up with new dates this fall.

As for the upcoming Transformation 2020 conference in Québec City, the Local Advisory Committee and the CPRS Events team are currently collecting information and exploring all available options. Our priority and approach is to act in the best interests of our delegates, staff, volunteers, and the Society as a whole. Thank you for your patience with the team; we hope to have a confirmed direction to you shortly.

During this time of information and misinformation overload, I encourage everyone to continue to advance the mission, vision and values of CPRS. In doing so, you’ll not only help curb the spread of fear over facts, but you’ll also ensure that we come out on the other side of this crisis as better communicators, more committed to our cause, and more connected to each other. What we say and do as communicators today, will echo in the recovery of tomorrow (if I can crib a line from Russell Crow in the Gladiator).

To help advance ethical and service-oriented PR, we’ve created a COVID 19 communications repository on CPRS Connect, where we will be compiling information and tools to support members. CPRS Connect is the opportunity to share your expert knowledge and experience with each other to deliver the best and the most ethical and effective communications during this crisis. Whether you’re seeking advice or simply exchanging ideas or information, log on, get informed, and stay connected.

Finally, let’s acknowledge and pay tribute to all health care workers, including the members of the CPRS Health Academy, who are on the front lines of this pandemic, putting so much at risk in the service of others, and modeling outstanding professionalism. Thank you all for your dedication to keeping us healthy, safe and well informed.

Victor Vrsnik, MCM, APR, FCPRS 
National President,
Canadian Public Relations Society