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All Hands on Deck – delegates sail away from port with new skills after annual Canadian Public Relations Conference

July 19, 2012


Sailing in from all parts of the country, Canadian communicators travelled to the seaside city of Victoria, British Columbia to take part in the annual Canadian Public Relations Conference. Those who attended Currents 2012 were able to leave port with new skills and knowledge of how they can successfully navigate through the constantly changing tides of the public relations industry.


The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) organizes the annual conference with the help of a local CPRS Society, providing a conference experience that is unique to that part of the country. While in Victoria, delegates kept busy with engaging keynote sessions and workshops, friendly social events and the annual awards gala. Following the opening ceremonies of the conference, seven CPRS members received their accredited in public relations (APR) designation and five members were entered in the CPRS College of Fellows.


The first conference keynote address was delivered by Wayne Parrish. As Chief Operating Officer of one of Canada’s largest media companies, Postmedia Network Inc., Parrish spoke about the changing media landscape and its impact on public relations. The newspaper industry is currently facing its biggest change ever as it moves from print to digital. The thirst for instant information has clients and audiences talking directly to one another, which has affected how public relations professionals interact with journalists to generate news coverage.


Continuing the discussion about the current state of journalism was Anna Maria Tremonti, host of Canada’s most popular radio program, The Current on CBC radio. Tremonti is an award-winning, hard-hitting journalist that delivered a memorable keynote address that focused on answering questions—especially tough ones—from the heart.

She emphasized the importance of answering the media candidly because authenticity creates connection and leaves no room for misinterpretation.


Twitter was abuzz with delegates tweeting quotes from keynote presentations and conference workshops, providing a brief glimpse at what was happening during #CPRS2012.

The tweets didn’t stop at the end of workshops, the online engagement continued into the night as delegates took part in several social events, such as an evening at the First Peoples Gallery of the Royal BC Museum, a tour and evening at a local winery and, of course, the annual National Awards of Excellence.


The 2012 National Awards of Excellence recognized the best public relations and communications management campaigns in Canada. The awards covered a wide variety of communications categories with 34 gold, silver and bronze winners receiving recognition for their public relations campaigns in front of industry peers.




CPRS held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) during the conference and welcomed Richard Truscott, APR as the new national president of CPRS. The next AGM will take place during next year’s public relations conference, Conversations 2013, in Ottawa, Ontario.