Tammy Vineberg, APR
What is your Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) journey? My journey started with a connection to Mike Lupien, APR in 2008 when he asked me to help with the local society job board. I was fairly new to Edmonton and the public relations world. My children were ages five and three. I was working full-time and was a part-time student in the public relations program at MacEwan University. Little did I know how CPRS would define me.
That same year I attended a CPRS luncheon where Walter Schwabe was a speaker about some platform called Twitter. I still remember the sentence he said: “If you are not on Twitter, then you are out of the game.” Of course, I went home, joined Twitter, and worked on figuring out how to use this social media tool. If you know me, I definitely figured it out and it became a huge part of my personal and professional life.
I first joined the CPRS Edmonton board as the communications chair in 2012 and remained on the board until 2016 when I was secretary. Looking back now, I felt like a novice compared to others on the board who had years of experience and there was much to learn.
My first national conference was in Banff in 2014 where I volunteered by organizing the other volunteers. I knew only people from Edmonton and spent the majority of the time live tweeting the conference sessions. But it wouldn’t be my last conference experience. Since then, I have attended a total of five conferences if you count the two that were online during the pandemic.
It was the pandemic that really changed my relationship with CPRS. Two people from the chapter challenged me to go through the APR process. In case you aren’t familiar with obtaining your APR, it is a year-long process that involves a lot of reading, discussion, and study groups. We knew who would be in our cohort from across the country and I reached out by joining three study groups, registering for almost all online professional development sessions that CPRS chapters offered, and started volunteering again for our local chapter. By 2021, I obtained my APR and was a board member again with CPRS Edmonton.
Why am I bothering to tell you these details? My CPRS journey has helped me discover a community of friends, colleagues, and increased knowledge about our profession. But it wouldn’t have happened without my effort and discovery. I understand that life may get in the way of a journey or people may not feel comfortable with meeting others they don’t know.
As the newly elected president of CPRS Edmonton, I want to help others discover their journey. I want to build a communications community in our city. Know that you can reach out to me if you are a CPRS member or a non-member, I am willing to have a conversation on how we can move our profession forward to help benefit everyone. So what will your CPRS journey be?