President’s message – September 2023

Tammy Vineberg, APR

A room is filled with hazy cigarette smoke and the clacky sound of typewriters. There are very few women around the table as a strategy session takes place for a client. It’s the coming of age for public relations: the year 1963. Due to the booming economy of the post-war era, PR agencies are in high demand. Television, civil rights and women’s liberation movements are changing the face of society. 

Now think how public relations has evolved over the last 60 years. Gone are the typewriters. Work is done on cell phones and computers. Analog is in the past. Photos and videos are all digital. The media landscape is waning. It’s more of a challenge to catch your audiences’ attention. Equity, diversity,  and inclusion as well as artificial intelligence are top of mind for practitioners. 

Are these changes something to celebrate? I believe so. Storytelling is at the heart of our industry and we are constantly finding new ways to connect our audiences to the messages. That’s why we are inviting you to join us as we celebrate CPRS Edmonton’s 60th anniversary on Sunday, October 15. Presented by Crestview Strategy, the content of this celebration is focused on storytelling through the performance of Rapid Fire Theatre and our guest speaker, Dr. Terry Flynn. Terry will be addressing “GenerativePR is much better than ChatGPT in predicting our next 60 years.”

If you don’t know who Terry is, he is one of the top thought leaders in our profession. I had the honour of getting to know him as a committee member when he led the National Call to Action on Anti-Racism in Public Relations and Communications Management online conference in March 2021. We had over 600 people attend the two-day event. 

At this year’s CPRS National conference, he and Daniel Tisch of Argyle spoke about reaching new heights in public relations and communications. Through his work at McMaster University, Terry recently researched senior communicators and had 50 responses within 10 minutes of sending out a survey. A total of 110 responses from Canadian communications leaders raised the issues of burnout and staff turnover, lack of promotion opportunities, media landscape challenges, and digital overload. Although his presentation for our event won’t address this research, you can have a chance to connect with him about these issues during the networking portion.

We’ll have a chance to laugh at ourselves when Rapid Fire Theatre takes the stage. We’ve asked this talented improv troupe to focus its performance on the 1960s and our profession. You can make it as funny as you want when you are invited to throw out suggestions that will frame what takes place before our eyes.

The October 15 event is all about celebration, content, connecting, and community. But we can’t have community and connection without you there. Please join us, whether or not you are a CPRS member. It’s time to mark what we have accomplished over the past 60 years and look ahead to what we can accomplish, together. 

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