“March Is Membership Month” is the Canadian Public Relations Society’s annual national program to promote membership in the Society.
Some of you reading this may already be Members, and I hope you are having a positive experience as part of the CPRS family. Others of you may not be Members and may be considering signing up. March is a good time to do it from a financial point of view, for both new and lapsed members who wish to rejoin the CPRS community. This March only, CPRS National will waive the fifty-dollar initiation or reinstatement fee for new or lapsed (+3 months) members. To activate this offer, join before March 31, 2023, and use the promotional code JOIN2023 when registering.
That stated, there are so many other reasons to join or re-join CPRS beyond this promotional offer.
I referred to the CPRS “family” earlier. I have met so many people since I joined CPRS almost 20 years ago. In our industry, we talk a lot about “networking”…connecting with people who can help us learn and develop and become better practitioners. The opportunities for this kind of connecting are abundant at CPRS, even with the updated gathering practices that have come about recently as a result of the pandemic.
Between the offerings at the national level and those offered at the local society level, CPRS has a proud history of providing learning opportunities to help Members improve their knowledge and skills and keep up to date on emerging trends. One of my favourite benefits of Membership is my ability to access Bill Rees Learning Centre, CPRS National’s repository of articles, webinars and other content curated to help our Members learn new skills and develop their talents, a very useful tool when I’ve been unable to attend a PD event in real time.
The APR designation has been a respected measure of professional experience and competence in the field of communications management and public relations for more than half a century. Once earned, it distinguishes Members as being committed to the highest professional standards. I earned my APR in 2006 and consider it one of most significant personal achievements of my life. I learned so much from my “Class of ’06” Study Group colleagues and as much as I was glad once my APR year had concluded, I sure missed the fun times we had together going through the APR process.
The National Conference
Certainly one of the elements of Membership that keeps me engaged is attending our annual National Conference which, in 2023, will take place June 4-6 in Whistler, B.C. I consider my attendance to be money well spent, especially with the significant savings I get compared to non-member pricing. This year CPRS has introduced new pricing opportunities for members and non-members to attend the 2023 National “Elevate” Conference and Awards of Excellence Gala. Get your friends and colleagues together because groups of three or more people, from the same organization, save ten percent off their registration. This applies to member and non-member ticket prices. It really makes sense to join as a member because, over March, CPRS is also offering a combined promotion on membership and conference registration for new and lapsed (+3 months) members for that extra nudge to join us and truly experience #CPRSProud by offering ten percent off the posted early bird membership rate and saving the fifty-dollar initiation or reinstatement fee. You really can’t beat it!
As well as high-level learning sessions and workshops, the National Conference allows me to reconnect with peers that I don’t get to see in person otherwise because so many of these close relationships I have developed are with people who live in various communities across the country. A highlight of the conference is the Awards of Excellence gala, where we celebrate colleagues who have achieved great success with campaigns and other initiatives from the previous year.
Sense of Belonging
Those are just a few of the many reasons why I truly believe membership offers great value to professionals like us that have dedicated our working lives to communications management and public relations. Of course, there are many others…including the PRK (Public Relations Knowledge) Exam for our emerging professionals, the Code of Professional Standards, the College of Fellows, the CPRS Foundation, and the benefits that come with being part of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and the relationships we enjoy with PRSA (U.S.) and CIPR (U.K.).
Additionally, the advantages and opportunities provided by your local society are key components to the complete membership experience at CPRS and I applaud our 13 local societies from coast to coast for providing such great complementary programming to our Members.
The overall sense of belonging to an organization like CPRS with Members who have chosen a career similar to ours is perhaps the overarching reason that I get so much out of my membership. I know I’m not alone. I know I can find others like me who share the same kinds of problems I have, the same opportunities I seek and workable solutions to help me be more successful.
Consider joining CPRS and be part of a bigger team. Literally, there’s no time like the present! www.cprs.ca
CPRS National President