President’s Message January 2013

President’s Message January 2013

Dear Fellow CPRS Hamilton Members:

Here are some of good things percolating at CPRS Hamilton for our members!

Our Professional Development Chair Dr. Alex Sévigny has put together a dynamite plan for this year and he’s outlined it below. The program directly ties to what members said in the fall that they need to keep on top of our ever changing field. The social media series, Pint-sized Social Media, kicks off on Monday, February 4th with a facilitated discussion and best practices sharing at the Bean Bar in Hamilton at 5 p.m. Then the Students Committee will hold its second event later that week and also at the Bean Bar on Thursday, February 7th at 7:30 p.m.

Do plan to come out to The Debaters on February 20th from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School, 124 Dorval Drive, Oakville (South of the QEW on Dorval Drive). Taking a page from the hit CBC TV and radio shows, our debaters (who also serve as mentors in this year’s Mentorship program) will take sides on some serious and not so serious topics like, “Do ex-journalists make the best PR people?” and, “Can you smooze your way to the perfect PR job?”. The evening is open to all members and our hilarious and occasionally ribald host and moderator Andy Coxhead will keep the mayhem coming!

New members, students and recent graduates will want to learn more about the new Public Relations Knowledge (PRK) ™ exam, set to launch across Canada on Saturday, January 26th. Be among the first to write this national PR exam. Register now to write in Toronto at Humber College at 12:30 p.m.

Our own Pinnacles Awards call for entries deadline is March 14th with the Gala set for April 11th at the University Club at McMaster University. For a small fee, you can submit your work for evaluation and test your mettle. Want to recognize the amazing efforts of our volunteers? You can nominate worthy members for one of our Special Awards and there’s no charge to do so (e.g. Bill Cockman Memorial Award of Excellence in PR; CPRS Hamilton PR Professional of the Year; CPRS Hamilton Mentorship Award; Dr. Louis J. Cahill Distinguished Service Award). The National Awards program also recognizes outstanding project work through its Communications Excellence awards program and the deadline for submissions is the end of March. It similarly honours individuals via the Major Awards categories. Please take a few minutes now to see how you can “take home some gold” this year as well as, recognize members who go above and beyond to serve our membership.

We also have two additional student Awards programs– the CPRS Hamilton Legacy Fund Award for a senior CPRS Hamilton member on completion of a graduate-level program (Masters or PhD)and, the Torchia Scholarship in Public Relations/ Communications for an undergraduate student who has chosen to study public relations/communications in one of Canada’s two official languages that is not his/her first language or mother tongue and is fluent in the other.

To enjoy the full value of your membership, I hope you will take advantage of the many events and awards programs being offered. Hope to see you soon!

Best regards, Ginny

New Members

A warm welcome to our newest members who include:

  • Shannon Evans, Project Leader, Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Andrea Swinden, Communications Officer, Halton District School Board
  • Jodie Sales, Senior Communications Specialist, Regional Municipality of Halton
  • Jennifer Kramer, Public Relations Specialist, Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Vel Snoukphonh, Public Relations Specialist, Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Stacey Hunter, Communications Specialist, Regional Municipality of Halton

Announcing our Recent APRs & Fellows

Did you know that within the Canadian Public Relations Society, CPRS Hamilton has the highest proportion of accredited members? Last month, six members joined those ranks and they include:

  • Kelly, Anderson, APR – City of Hamilton
  • Lillian Badzioch, APR – Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Bob Deans, APR – Shalom Village
  • Carly Black Griffin, APR – Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Alex Sévigny, APR – McMaster University
  • Roxanne Torbiak, APR – Hamilton Health Sciences

College of Fellows

Our own Carleen Carroll, Director of Strategic Communications at Halton Region and Ginny Jones, President of Acuity Options were named along with eight other inductees from across Canada to the CPRS College of Fellows. Established in 1998, the College recognizes members who are, “proven leaders in the field and who have made exceptional contributions to the profession and their communities.”

Professional Development

New Professional Development Plan By Alex Sévigny, APR, PD Chair

CPRS Hamilton’s professional development program will get off to a great start in 2013, with several events on the horizon.

First, we are excited to announce our “Pint Sized Social Media” series that will include six informal meet-ups at a Hamilton restaurant or cafe (to be announced two weeks ahead of each event) where CPRS Hamilton members can get together for an engaging facilitated conversation on the latest hot social media topics. The inaugural event is set for Monday, February 4th at 5 p.m. at the Bean Bar, 1012 King Street West in Hamilton.

Second, we will be starting a “PR Next Steps” blog, in which I will be interviewing CPRS Hamilton members in an audio podcast that covers the nature of their practice and what change they think the future will bring. One podcast will be posted every two weeks on the CPRS Hamilton website. The blog will also touch on topics of current interest in PR and communications management.

Third, we will be offering a Myers-Briggs Type Index (MBTI) personality test and group debrief to members for a very reasonable rate, well below market. MBTI is an excellent tool for getting to know yourself, what motivates you, what turns you off and how you can best fit into an organization’s workflow and culture (date and venue to be confirmed).

Fourth, in the spring we will have a “Big Thinking Lecture” from a major communications management scholar. This lecture will cover a topic related to the evolving practice and its growing importance in the world of senior management.

Finally, we will co-sponsor the first Professional Communication Forum at McMaster University in April on the topic of Health Communication. CPRS Hamilton members will receive a special rate for this exciting day of learning and discussion.

Attention Student Members – What’s next? Life after graduation
2nd CPRS Hamilton Student Committee Meet and Greet Event

Come on out for the second Student Meet & Greet event on Thursday, February 7th at 5 p.m. at the Bean Bar, 1012 King St West in Hamilton and get to know PR peers from the other PR schools. The topic for the evening is, “What‘s Next? Life after graduation.”

Attention Full-time Members

Upcoming CPRS National 2013 Webinar Series
Next up – Monday, January 21st 2 p.m. EST

Next session: Innovation in Public Relations Carleen Carroll, APR FCPRS, Director of Strategic Communications, will cover the steps Halton Region took in 2010 in making an unprecedented change to its strategic planning model by developing new communication channels to increase its engagement and feedback with the community. (Recipient of the 2012 Don Rennie Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Relations)

For more information and free admission for full-time members, click here.

Please see below for the list of presenters for the 2013 Webinar Series. Note: check archived sessions via the CPRS website: Login required.

Presenter Category

Halton Region

  • Government Public Relations
  • Broad Reach Communications
  • Media Relations

Kennedy Jones & Sweeney Inc.

  • Internal Communications
Jan. 21, 2013 2 p.m. ET Revised date: Feb. 21. 2013 2 p.m. ET March 18, 2013 2 p.m. ET

Mentorship News

The next mentorship event, Reverse Mentoring, is set for Friday, January 25th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Sholom Village, 70 Macklin Street North, Hamilton.


Save the Date! Gala April 11th

  • 2013 Pinnacle Awards Gala at the University Club at McMaster University on April 11, 2013

Deadline for Entries: March 14th

  • Award entries – Join an Elite Fraternity! The deadline for entries is March 14, 2013. Entriesare for a member’s work — Communications Programs and Projects (submitted by the member) and for recognizing individuals who demonstrate exceptional involvement in the profession — Special Award (submitted by peers).

CPRS National Conference – extra early bird special rate offered till Feb 15th

Join the conversation when CPRS hosts its annual conference June 9th to 11th at the Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel in Gatineau-Ottawa, Quebec. Sign up by February 15th and save $400 on your conference registration.

Annual General Meeting – May 2nd

Circle your calendar for May 2nd for our Annual General Meeting. Details to follow.

Maintenance Credits – Are you up to date?

By Melissa Macdonald, APR

The Accreditation Maintenance program was designed to strengthen the value of the APR designation for the benefit of practitioners, employers, clients and the public at-large. It is a voluntary program; however, all APRs are encouraged to participate. Participation by non-practicing, retired APRs is waived.

The Maintenance program:

  • demonstrates an APR’s continued training and professional development and leadership in public relations
  • maintains the value of the APR and its relevancy

To participate:

  • you keep track of qualifying activities over a five year period from three broad categories-training, professional activities and community service-all of which have a point value called accreditation units-until you have collected a total of 15 units
  • you complete the online maintenance form, or send the form to the National Office
  • your form is reviewed and the National Office Council on Accreditation issues you a maintenance certificate

Note: Login required to to view the following hyperlinks:

Qualifying activities may originate from three broad categories (training, professional activities & community service). These activities carry a point value that is described in the list of maintenance of accreditation units. Once you have fifteen points, you can submit them online or send the registration form to the National Office. Your application is reviewed and the National Council on Accreditation will recognize your maintenance of the APR designation.

Login to with your username and password to:

For more information on Accreditation Maintenance, please contact CPRS Hamilton’s Accreditation Chair, Melissa Macdonald, APR at

In the News

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