From Darkness Into Light

As we approach the winter solstice, where short days with dark evenings gradually become longer and filled with more daylight, here is an update about what’s happening at CPRS National and what’s on the horizon.
Over the past month, I have been connecting with the chairs and presiding officers of our CPRS Councils, Committees and Task Forces. It has been good to catch up, talk about their activities and review our 2020-21 priorities. I offer my sincere thanks to these volunteers for their work and dedication.
As for our priorities, here’s what is underway.
  • Membership & Chapter Relations. Research data is being gathered. Local society presidents have been asked to nominate two of their members to work with National Board representatives to develop a CPRS membership strategy. 
  • Financial Sustainability. Our 2020-21 CPRS budget is tracking well, with a slight surplus projected to the end of the fiscal year. The first meeting of the budget subcommittee is set for December to look at longer-term budget matters.
  • Professional Development (other than the annual conference). The national call for webinars has closed. Committee members will be looking at the submissions, as well as thinking more about virtual events and ways to monetize content. 
In addition, a number of other things have been happening at CPRS.
  • On behalf of all CPRS members, I extend hearty congratulations to Hélène Gagnon, ARP, FSCRP who has been welcomed as the newest member of the CPRS College of Fellows.  
  • The 2020 APR program is wrapping up and the next round of candidates has applied for the “Class of 2021”. #APRproud 
  • The PR Register has been launched … a public declaration that our members have committed to a Code of Professional Standards
  • Discussions related to artificial intelligence in public relations (AIinPR) continue. Technology is changing. As professional communicators, we must understand it and be able to use it. 
  • Our task force related to diversity, equity and inclusion continues its important work. CPRS, IABC (Toronto), CCPRF, and the Breakfast Culture are finalizing a joint survey on the subject. Stay tuned. 
  • Local societies have been offering virtual PD sessions for their members, and those across the country. Virtual holiday socials are popping up like Christmas lights. 

From darkness into light…
And on that note, the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 offers the hope that within months we will all be able to connect again in person.
No doubt, it has been a tough year for many. My thoughts go out to those who have been personally affected. I also salute the frontline and essential workers who have been going straight out since the pandemic started.
It is not lost on me that the approaching winter solstice seems to be signally not just a switch from darker days to lighter ones, but to brighter times in our lives as well. From my family, CPRS National, and me, I extend holiday wishes to you all and the very best for 2021.

Wayne Knorr, APR

CPRS National President