President’s message: Three Rs – resilience, resolve and renewal

The political events of early January 2021 are a sharp reminder of the power of communication, whatever its motivation, and our ethical responsibility as practitioners. Character and competence matter and the guiding principles of public relations and communications management outlined at are a key reference as we strive to be better and do better daily.

This year more than ever marks a renewed need for and belief in our competencies and societal purpose as public relations professionals. I can assure you our chapter board will continue to innovate and experiment with virtual programming, portfolio structure and outreach to keep pace with the opportunities presented by this rolling reality.

The pandemic put public relations at the forefront of health, civic and business leaders’ attention. It made all messages hyper-local while reinforcing that every village on the planet is global. With nearly eight billion people sharing Earth’s biosphere, we became keenly aware that no airshed, watershed, or cyberscape is impermeable.

Now, after a year of retrenching, all sectors are recasting the next decade through a lens of

interdisciplinary sciences and creative entrepreneurship. STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – is morphing into STEAM with renewed value for arts, humanities and social sciences.

Transparency, technology and innovation is dominating governance discussions. From the ethics of algorithms to reputational risks, communicators are being tapped for insights and analysis of social trends and perceptions and to co-develop robust clicks-to-bricks stakeholder feedback systems.

In this municipal election year, the lessons of rapid and radical global pandemic collaboration are finding their way into city and neighborhood-level campaigns and grassroots mobilization efforts. Beyond defining personas and influencer strategies, communicators are cultivating trust relationships that stand up to scrutiny in worldwide social platforms as well as backyard soccer fields. 

The agility to see around corners and the courage to speak truth to power is the calling card of PR thought leaders. CPRS Edmonton members are stepping up as organization change agents, crisis managers, stakeholder boundary spanners and trust builders. As daunting as uncertainty is, we have always been early adopters, scouts and sense-makers. So here’s to a new year and all it brings.

Anticipate, initiate, be bold! 


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