Many have referred to past two years as The Great Resignation. Here at CPRS, I would refer to the past year as The Great Reset.
This time last year, we as a national board were looking forward to accomplishing the goals we had been striving toward for three years. We had a healthy balance sheet, membership had stabilized, and the worst of the pandemic appeared to be behind us.
But circumstances, as they say, change.
Shortly after last year’s AGM, we were faced with the need to completely replace and reorganize the national office structure.
Was it easy? No. Did it disrupt the organization? Yes. Has it turned out to be just what we needed? In many ways, yes.
While the reorganization diverted the board’s attention, it forced us to focus on the fundamentals, on some of the things that for many years were left to linger – and sometimes fester. I’m proud to say that we have come through The Great Reset a better, stronger organization at our core, thanks to the hard work of my board colleagues and our new national office staff.
I’m also humbled to look back and realize the network of volunteers for which CPRS is famous never stopped doing what they do: working to improve the organization and the services we provide to make CPRS membership meaningful and valuable. As it turns out, some of those goals we thought we had abandoned were being pursued and achieved all along. Here are just a few examples:
I am especially proud of the work my national board colleague Rashpal Rai has been doing to move the CPRS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy forward. This is an initiative I view as fundamental to the future of CPRS.
The Advocacy and Ethical PR Committee, under the leadership of Julie Rogers, has been a driving force behind eliminating unpaid internships in our industry.
A new mentorship program is underway due to the vision and commitment of Daniel Granger and the College of Fellows.
The APR program has been modernized and improved thanks to the efforts of Margaret Pearcy, Alex Sévigny and the Accreditation Council.
The Governance Committee, under the leadership of Bob Ellis, should be commended for its extensive review of the organizational structure. This work will drive the strategic direction of the CPRS National Board as we focus our efforts on the delivering increased member value.
And your national board has, since early June, been working on concrete action plans to reimagine professional development and the national conference, build even stronger education and accreditation programs, and promote the profession and the ethical practice of public relations.
So, did we face some challenges this year? Yes. And we’re not out of the woods yet, frankly.
But I am confident, as I step off the Executive of CPRS National, that we are stronger for the adversity we have faced, we have a solid organizational foundation, and the national board you have elected to take CPRS forward is the right group at the right time.
In closing, I want to thank you for the trust you have placed in me, for your patience, and for your ongoing commitment to a strong and ethical profession.
I look forward to continuing to serve CPRS for many years to come.
Cam McAlpine, APR
CPRS National President