PR Matters

In 2017, in the midst of a global discussion on ethical PR and ‘alternative facts’ the Canadian Public Relations Society led the way with a white paper and strategic framework that turned talk into committed action. Now, we begin to fulfill that commitment and demonstrate that for Canada’s PR professionals, ethics matter.

To lead the charge on this important initiative, CPRS has formed a National Task Force on Ethical Public Relations, which will work with our members across the country to administer a new professional ethics development program. 

As its first deliverable, the Task Force has produced an interview series that will explore current trends in public relations, the value of CPRS membership and how ethical PR shows up in their day-to-day work.

We'll be releasing a new video each month featuring a prominent CPRS member leading up to the next National Conference, where the topic of ethical PR will be explored in depth.

Until then, view our latest inverviews below:

Amy Thurlow, PhD, APR, FCPRS is a Professor of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she teaches public relations management, communication studies, and organizational communication.

Amy’s research interests focus on the areas of identity construction, critical historiography and organizational communication. Grounded in an approach of critical theory, her work has looked at the impact of communication on organizational change strategies, the role of power and legitimation in the construction of organizational and individual identities, and the relationship between history and theory in understandings of knowledge production.

Rashpal Rai, APR is the manager, communications planning at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). He has over 20 years of experience, primarily in the corporate sector and public-private partnerships, as well as Crown corporations. In this current position, Rashpal is responsible for internal communications and providing communications planning expertise to a number of corporate projects and initiatives, as well as delivery communications services to the various Business Areas within ICBC. In his previous roles, Rashpal has been responsible for all aspects of internal and external communications strategy, including government, corporate and stakeholder relations, and community outreach.

Rashpal has a long history of service with CPRS. He became an affiliate member in 1998 and served on the Board of Directors of CPRS Vancouver Island, before moving to Vancouver. Since becoming a National member in 1999, he volunteered for the 2001 CPRS National Conference in Whistler and later become a volunteer with the Vancouver chapter. Rashpal served as Secretary/Treasurer for CPRS Vancouver in 2007/08 and 2009 to 2011, and was the Conference Vice-Chair and Finance Chair for the 2009 CPRS National Conference in Vancouver. He served on the National Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017. He is currently serves as Director of Senior-Level Professional Development and the Leaders Network with CPRS Vancouver. Rashpal achieved his APR designation in 2013.

Educated as a political scientist, Brigitte Stock is a 30 year-Communication & PR Tech Industry expert.  While consulting to public and private organizations, small and large, in the United States, Canada and Europe, on corporate communications, business diplomacy and stakeholder’s engagement, she enjoys playing offense, connecting brands and people in fierce competitive environments. As an accredited Public Relations professional, she builds stakeholders' engagement and partnerships through digital media, social architecture and strategic communications. 

Working at ETS - Higher School of Technology - Canada’s second largest engineering school, Brigitte is developing a Donor’s Communications practice, her acknowledgements’ approach focusing on impact and relevancy.  Until recently Head of Communications for Montreal hardware incubator Centech, she has been consulting on start-ups communications and fundraising. Until 2008, she was corporate and technology communications vice-president of NATIONAL Public Relations. Before joining NATIONAL, Stock was Director, TechnoUSmedia for TechnoCap, a venture capital firm. 

Past Member of the Board of Directors of the Association des femmes en finance du Québec (Quebec Financial Women Association), she , relentlessly, has been working for the advancement of women within the financial and technology industries. Promoting diversity and women’s role in technology, Brigitte Stock seats on the Boards of Canadian Public Relations Society, and Canada’s Public Relations Foundation. 

Since 2009, she has been actively involved with Elections Canada, Elections Canada a world-renowned electoral agency, facilitating elections monitoring and ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process.
A specialist in intercultural etiquette and manners, she is a frequent radio speaker on the subject. Since 2015, as a regular guest speaker at University of Sherbrooke (UTA), she teaches «History of Good Manners».

A mother of three, Brigitte loves sailing and playing tennis.

With over 19 years of marketing research experience, Lisa Covens is a highly respected professional. As a Vice President at Leger, Lisa manages the Communications and Public Affairs practice and is a senior member of the Toronto office. Her clients include some of the top PR agencies in Canada, and communications practitioners at several corporations, associations, and pharmaceutical companies.

She focuses her practice on research for media attention across numerous industries along with reputation, crisis management, and health PR research. She is well-versed in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and is a security cleared federal government moderator.

Lisa has been an active member of CPRS for nearly ten years, attending annual conferences and local professional development events, and participating as an Ace Awards Judge. Lisa is currently a Board Director at CPRS National and the current Ace Awards Judging Co-Chair for CPRS Toronto.

Lisa graduated from McMaster University in 1998 with an Honours Degree in Political Science.  She furthered her studies, completing her Master’s Degree in Political Science in 2000 at McMaster University with a focus on comparative politics, research methods, and statistical analysis.  Lisa has been co-teaching PR Research Methods in the Bachelor of Public Relations Program at Humber for the past two years.

Lisa is also currently a Corporate Board Member at Make-a-Wish® Canada and a member of the Board of Directors at Robbins Hebrew Academy.

Renee McCloskey, APR, FCPRS is the Manager of External Relations with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George in Prince George, BC. Renee is responsible for media relations, communications planning, First Nations liaison and the Regional Cultural program.  Renee is also the main spokesperson for the Regional District during emergency management responses to disaster events like wildfires and flooding. Prior to joining the Regional District in 2007, Renee worked in a variety of sectors including healthcare, tourism  economic development and consulting.

Renee joined CPRS in 1995 and was one of the original charter members of CPRS-Northern Lights, when it was formed in 1999. She served on the CPRS National Board for 6 years.  In 2015-16, Renee had the great honour of serving as National President and in 2018 received the Philip A. Novikoff Memorial Award for her work in furthering the public relations practice in Canada and her contributions to CPRS.

A lawyer by training, Daniel has more than 30 years’ experience as a communications executive and consultant.

Thanks to his strong interest in both these areas and his numerous commitments to businesses, institutions and associations within the worlds of business and communications, he’s developed a thorough understanding of the profession and a keen sense for keeping abreast of latest developments in the field.

By bringing his keen analysis skills and strategic acumen to bear on each project he works on, Daniel makes sure each mandate achieves its objectives and meets the client's expectations.

Despite his busy schedule, Daniel has been involved with Special Olympics Québec and the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) for more than 20 years because he firmly believes in the paramount value of social inclusion as well as professional and community involvement.

Victor Vrsnik is the current CPRS President and former VP & Treasurer on the national Board. As part of the Three Year Strategic Plan, Victor is committed to supporting our community of communicators by staying focused on our valuable volunteers and the regional Societies.

A proud CPRS-Vancouver member since 2005, Victor has practiced PR and communications management for most of his career. He sits on the senior leadership team at 7-Eleven Canada to oversee corporate affairs and business development for the national retailer.

To stay current on emerging PR and industry trends, Victor teaches as a teaching assistant at McMaster University, attends PR conferences, and is published in a peer-reviewed journal. He’s an accredited and an award-winning communicator, and holds a Master of Communications Management (MCM) degree from McMaster University. Victor was admitted to the College of Fellows in 2015.

Victor is a passionate CPRS supporter and volunteer. He chaired the national RFP Task Force in 2018/19. Over the years, he served as the national Board liaison to the Education Council, marked and graded APR exams and Public Relations Knowledge exams, and judged CPRS Awards of Excellence. He served as Secretary/Treasurer for the CPRS-Vancouver, whilst participating in the CPRS Mentorship Program during his agency days.
Victor’s first PR job was a community relations role with the City of Winnipeg Insect Control Branch to battle mosquitos, followed by a media relations gig at the University of Manitoba. Victor now lives in Vancouver (since 2002) with his wife and three children.

Daniel Tisch is widely known as an international public relations professional, speaker, writer and industry leader. He is the CEO of Argyle Public Relationships, one of Canada’s largest independent PR firms, a Fellow of the Canadian Public Relations Society, and the 2011-2013 chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the confederation of the world’s major PR and communication professional associations.
Since Daniel became president of Argyle in 2003, the firm has grown dramatically, appearing in the PROFIT 500 list of Canada’s fastest-growing companies in both 2015 and 2016. Argyle is invariably among the leaders in awards from the Canadian Public Relations Society and the International Association of Business Communicators, with almost 200 awards during Daniel’s tenure, including recognition as the IABC Global Mid-Sized Agency of the Year for 2017.
As a consultant, Daniel has advised a long list of Global 500/Fortune 500 companies as well as both Canadian and international government leaders. He is particularly well-known for expertise in reputation, issues and crisis management, serving in 2009 as the lead communications advisor to an industry affected by the largest food recall in North American history. Daniel’s other areas of practice include reputation management strategy, stakeholder engagement, governance and executive leadership communications.
As Global Alliance chair, Daniel led the organization to unprecedented growth, chaired a process to develop an international consensus on the roles and responsibilities of twenty-first century public relations, co-chaired the two largest World Public Relations Forums in history, launched a “best-of-the-best” global awards program and an international research study on the state of public relations with the University of Southern California, and represented the profession on the International Integrated Reporting Council.
Earlier in his career, Daniel held senior communications roles in the Canadian government, including serving as Senior Policy Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the latter role he was a member of the Canadian delegation to the G7 Economic Summit.
Daniel has spoken at conferences on every continent, lectured on public relations at Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada) since 1996, and contributed to leading PR and marketing textbooks. He appears regularly in broadcast, print and online media, including recent comments in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, Reuters, CBC Television, Global News, PR Week and Strategy. He is a member of CPRS, the IABC and the Arthur W. Page Society.
Born in Madrid, Spain, and raised in Toronto, Daniel speaks English, French and Spanish. He holds two degrees from Queen’s University — a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and a Master of Business Administration. Daniel is the Vice Chair of the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, a leader in the international Scouting movement and a board member of Social Venture Partners International.

If you’re looking for lollipops and rainbows, you won’t find them with Tim. With a nearly unreal background including disaster communications, public consultations, and marketing small businesses, Tim knows his way through hard work and ugly situations. You will get a true honesty from Tim, or what he calls “hard truths” where he discovers and explores where your organization has issues, and strategic advice on how to solve them in an effort to improve your reputation.
With experience working across Canada’s provinces and territories, he’s developed into one of Canada’s leading rural communicators and marketers, having worked in multiple markets with populations under a half million.
Tim has a diplomas in Public Relations and Business from NSCC, has completed IAP2 foundations in public participation and University of Alberta financial management programs. He serves as CPRS presiding chair of professional development and has served on numerous boards, including on the Board of Governors for one of Canada’s largest colleges.

​In 2018, Tim recieved the CPRS Shield of Public Service along with Emily Epp in recognition of the pair's tireless efforts during the Cariboo Regional District's 77-day response to the largest fire in BC's history,

Jean Valin, APR, FCPRS, LM founded Valin Strategic Communications after a thirty-year career in the federal government - the last fourteen as a head of communications. He is a founding member and past chairman of the Global Alliance and has led several projects leading to the adoption of global standards.

In 2008, along with fellow members Fran Gregory, APR, FCPRS, and Terence Flynn, PhD, APR, FCPRS LM, Jean helped define the term public relations, creating the definition CPRS uses to this day. He is a lifetime member of CPRS, as well as past National President and recipient of the highest individual award- the Philip Novikoff memorial award for lifetime achievements. Read more about Jean's accomplishments in his Yocom Profile.

CPRS National was part of the task force that developed the Global Alliance (GA) Principles of Ethical Practice in Public Relations and Communications Management. We can confirm that our own Code of Professional Standards aligns with the Global Principles of Ethical Practice.