President’s Message November 2012

President’s Message November 2012

Ginny Jones, APR

Dear Fellow CPRS Hamilton Members:

Hard to believe it’s almost time to celebrate the holiday season with our annual Humbug on Thursday, December 6, 2012 (6 to 8 p.m.). This shiny bright night will, “turn that frown upside down”. If you haven’t booked your ticket, don’t delay! We’re hosting again with IABC Golden Horseshoe at the Old Powerhouse  in Stoney Creek. Click here to register.

Members Survey: What did we learn from you?

Thanks to all the members who responded (61% of full time members) to my request for a phone conversation and input into the Board’s strategic planning process now under way.

Here are some of the things you told us and that we’re responding to:

1. Why you joined CPRS Hamilton in the first place

Networking and being part of a professional community scored tops among members with professional development and learning coming next. Some joined looking for a mentor or a role model recommended CPRS Hamilton while others started as student members. Relocating to the Hamilton region played a smaller part as did seeking accreditation.

2. What you want in Professional Development from CPRS Hamilton?

Members provided general comments as well as specific topics and potential speakers. Members recommended that at all professional development events, an ice-breaker start the sessions, time is available for networking, name tags are worn and whenever possible, APR maintenance credits be provided. Consider new ways of offering PD, including our own podcasts and webinars via You Tube. Promote other sources such as the free Webinar series through CPRS National this year that highlights Gold Award winners from the 2011 National Awards of Excellence program (see Upcoming CPRS National 2012-2013 Webinar Series below)and PRSA’s webinars. Share and cross-promote events with CPRS Toronto.

Mix it up

Consider offering a Friday lunch, an early morning session and after work PD to appeal to the variety of “best times” for members. Consider a drop-in & share social media mini series to cover a range of topics, including how to use social media within the framework of one’s over-arching communications plan so it’s integrated and uses resources strategically. Also consider offering a more casual event on “cool local projects” with speakers who are comfortable being open about the challenges faced and lessons learned. Offer PD that is tied, “directly to my daily work” with helpful “how to’s”, frameworks, best practices and communications-friendly policies that have made a difference.

Special Session for Intermediate and Senior Members

As well, members asked for a session on the next career steps available for senior and intermediate practitioners (see Writing Your Next Chapter and Making it Count outlined below). Many supported the idea of a mini conference – either lasting a half or full day and covering some of the latest topics. One member even suggested that we include space for PD news, articles, links to important sources, etc. for the CPRS Hamilton website as well as via FaceBook and Linked In, so that members can access and even register easily. Drs. Larissa and James Grunig scored highest in preferred speakers although a number of ‘social media” experts were also suggested.

All of this input is shaping PD chair, Alex Sevigny’s PD plan and you’ll hear more details shortly.

3. What do you think of CPRS Hamilton social events?

Asked about social events, many of our members said they were “introverted” and found social events awkward which is why names tags and ice breakers were also suggested for social events. The Humbug and the Pinnacles received high praise but the summer social is seen as an awkward time of the year for an event and will be dropped.

The local Pinnacles awards program was widely recognized as many members have entered over the years. The national awards program is also known. Less known are the major awards that recognize individual leaders – locally and nationally. A few complained about “too tough” standards and cited successful programs that couldn’t demonstrate ROI since budgets had limited support for research and evaluation.

Next Steps:

The Board of Directors is under going strategic planning and our top priorities (see below) are influencing our goal setting, which we hope to complete over the next few (monthly) board meetings & share then. Stay tuned and thanks for your wonderful support!! Speaking of support – we’re approaching potential sponsors so we can keep costs for PD and events low to members.

Top priorities:

  1. Membership – growth & retention
  2. Increased Sponsorship
  3. Member Communications & Engagement
  4. Professional Development
  5. Incorporation

Some of our chairs will be looking to form subcommittees and there will be opportunities to get involved.

Finally, if you were busy in September/October when I called but can talk now, please know that we’re collecting input all year round! Just email me to set up a day/time for me to call you at or call me directly at 905 648 2049.



Accreditation deadline – December 3rd   

If you’ve been thinking about becoming an accredited practitioner, now’s the time to act. For more information on this fast-approaching deadline, visit: or call Melissa Macdonald, APR, CPRS Hamilton Accreditation Chair, at 905-502-2815 or

What is required?                                        

Eligible candidates must complete an application form and submit it prior to the December 1st deadline.

After being approved by the National Council on Accreditation, candidates will participate in a three part process consisting of: * a review of a work sample; * a written examination, and; * an oral examination.

New Professional Development dates

Attention Senior and Intermediate Members – special PD Event

Writing Your Next Chapter and Making it Count

Does this sound familiar? You’ve had an interesting career thus far and are thinking about what’s still left for you to accomplish. Come on out for this fast-paced and thought-provoking 1.5-hour PD event. Is a change of jobs in your future? Does PR consulting appeal to you? Or is it time for a career change? Discover the possibilities. Our own Gordon Neufeld, APR, will lead the discussion while drawing on his wealth of experience in coaching and lifestyle planning for executives, couples and individuals as well as, in PR consultancy, organizational design and operations and entrepreneurship. Gordon is the author of Careerology and is the founder of, The Best-Half™. Most importantly, Gordon is also the longest serving Mentor of the 6 year old CPRS Hamilton mentorship program. (Editor)

Mark your calendars now – registration information to follow shortly.

Monday, December 10, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

St. Timothy Catholic Elementary School, 2141 Deer Run Avenue,  Burlington

Attention Student Members – special PD Event

CPRS Hamilton Student Committee Meet and Greet Come and meet your fellow PR student peers on November 29th from 5 to 7 p.m. – location to be announced. You will have a chance to practice your 30-second introduction — otherwise known as, “your elevator speech”, and meet other students as they are embarking on their professional Public Relations careers. CPRS Hamilton has student members who attend Sheridan College, McMaster University and Mohawk College – your contemporaries. Stay tuned for registration and venue details. Bonus: Attending the Student Meet and Greet will help you prepare your introduction for the CPRS Hamilton Humbug on December 6th. Plus, you could win a door prize of free student admission to the Humbug ($30 value)!

Attention Full-time Members

Upcoming CPRS National 2012-2013 Webinar Series

Archived – Monday, November 19th

Next session: 25th Anniversary of Bombardier Aéronautique (Gold Award of Excellence, Electronic & Social Media category) on November 19th at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. For more information and free admission for full-time members, click here.

Please see below for the list of presenters for the 2012-2013 Webinar Series.

Note: check archived sessions via the CPRS website/login required:

Date Presenter Category
Sept. 17, 2012 2 p.m. ET

Thornley Fallis (archived)

Multimedia   Projects

Oct. 22 2012 2 p.m. ET

Ontario   Teachers’ Pension Plan (archived)

Issues/Crisis   Management

Nov. 19, 2012 2 p.m. ET

Bombardier Aéronautique

Electronic   & Social Media

Jan. 21, 2013 2 p.m. ET

Halton Region

Government   Public Relations

Feb. 19, 2013 2 p.m. ET



March 18, 2013 2 p.m. ET

Kennedy Jones & Sweeney   Inc.

Internal   Communications


Do you qualify for a Legacy Award?

If you have completed a full-time graduate level program (i.e. at the Master’s level, Ph.D. or MBA) focusing specifically in the area of public relations or communications and are a member in good standing of CPRS Hamilton for at least two years (at the time the award is presented), you may well be eligible to receive the CPRS Hamilton Legacy Fund Award. To see if you meet the criteria (that includes a minimum overall standing of a 3.5 grade point average at that time and meeting award objectives), please visit:

The Legacy Fund, which is administered by the Hamilton Community Foundation as a permanent endowment fund, has been established by CPRS Hamilton to provide a scholarship award in the amount of $1,000 for a senior CPRS Hamilton member on completion of a graduate-level program.

Mentorship News

For the first time, mentors and mentees had an opportunity to vote for their choice rather than be matched by the committee. The October 16th Speed mentoring event that preceded it gave everyone a chance to get to know each other before casting a vote.

Next event for Mentors & Mentees: CPRS Hamilton Humbug.

Click here to register.


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.  Entries are 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).

For detailed information on the 2013 Pinnacle Awards categories and the nomination process contact: Mark Gregory, Pinnacles Co-Chair at or 289-337-1233.

In the News

Congratulations to Lisa Stocco, APR, Director of Communications at the Halton Catholic District School Board for successfully obtaining her accreditation this year. Well done. Lisa also serves as Secretary on the CPRS Hamilton Board of Directors.

Got some news to share? Or have you heard about a recent honour bestowed on one of your CPRS peers? Don’t be shy!!

Warm regards,