Spring is in the air today and it’s that time of year again: MEMBERSHIP MONTH!

CPRS Membership Month

I think back to when I originally joined CPRS as a student member and how a career in public relations seemed an achievable but distant goal. The professional development and networking opportunities I took advantage of as a student helped me move my career forward. Many of those early connections at CPRS professional development luncheons turned into invaluable resources 10 years later when my career was established. One thing that I always remind people of, both here and across Canada, is that Winnipeg is a small: everyone knows everyone. That makes our PR networks all the more important in job hunting and knowing who to ask when you need some insight into handling a new PR challenge.

With this in mind, here are FIVE reasons to join CPRS in March:

  1. Join in March and automatically receive a 12-month subscription to PRSA’s Public Relations Tactics courtesy of CPRS – a value of $79.10.
  2. One lucky new member who joins in March will win a complimentary registration for the 2017 National Conference in Kelowna – a $1,525 value!
  3. Ability to enter the National Awards program in 2017 – The deadline to apply for entry of exceptional public relations and communications management campaigns is March 6, 2017.
  4. Complimentary webinars – Monthly professional development webinars are offered as an exclusive member-only benefit;

And there’s more! Check out the full list of benefits here.

-Janine Harasymchuk

MCOY Nomination Deadline Extended!

Winnipeg Art Gallery \\ Photo by AJ Batac-flickr
Winnipeg Art Gallery Photo by AJ Batac-flickr

Running out of time to get your submission in for that awesome communications professional you know? Well, we have some great news for you…

Nominations for CPRS Manitoba’s 10th Annual Manitoba Communicator of the Year (MCOY) Awards have been extended to March 10, 2016!

Do you know a great communications professional who should be recognized for their efforts? Is it time for you yourself to be acknowledged for the great work you do? Then what are you waiting for?

Celebrating excellence in communications, the MCOY award honours individuals and organizations whose work in public relations or communications has made a significant impact.

This year, we are excited to have three MCOY Award categories open for nominations:

  • Small Campaign Award (Budgets less than $20,000)
  • Large Campaign Award (Budgets greater than $20,000)
  • Crowning Achievement Award

The awards are open to Manitoba practitioners, and nominees do not have to be professional communicators or CPRS members to be eligible for a MCOY award. Eligible practitioners may also nominate themselves for a MCOY award.

Nomination guidelines and forms can be found on our website at www.cprs.mb.ca. Please send any questions to mcoy@cprs.mb.ca

The *NEW* (and final) Deadline for nominations is Friday, March 10, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. CST.


The MCOY awards will be presented at a gala evening on April 20, 2017 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Details to come…

Thinking about accreditation?

Accredited in Public Relations

Accreditation is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals that is administered by the national body of the Canadian Public Relations Society and identifies practitioners who have depth of experience and competence in the professional practice of public relations.

Earning the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation demonstrates professionalism and is tangible evidence to the public that you have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skills and abilities in the area of public relations. It is for this reason that many organizations and corporations specifically seek public relations professionals with the APR designation.

Those who are interested may want to view this PDF. In it, you’ll find the top 10 reasons for gaining an APR designation, information about the process involved, what’s needed to prepare, key dates and more.

For more information, email us at info@cprs.mb.ca.

Public relations volunteers needed for WE Day

The movement of our time, WE Day, is coming to Manitoba on Friday, November 18th 2016! WE Day will be held at the MTS Centre where we will celebrate and inspire a ­­­generation of young people leading local and global change.

WE Day combines the energy of a live concert with the inspiration of hearing remarkable stories of people leading change. WE Day brings together world-renowned speakers and performers with tens of thousands of youth to celebrate the power young people have to change the world. Students can’t buy a ticket to WE Day – they earn it through service by participating in one local and one global action.

WE Day attracts some of the biggest media outlets in Manitoba and they would love the support of PR, communications and journalism students and professionals to volunteer their time for what is sure to be an incredible day! Some notable celebrities and guest speakers that will be joining us at this years’ event include – Tyler Shaw, Rick Hanson, Paula Abdul, Hedley and many more!

Role Description

The WE Day Public Relations (PR) team works year-round to raise awareness about WE Day. The team engages with local and national media outlets and journalists leading into each WE Day event to help share the WE Day story and provide press in attendance with an impactful experience. WE Day press activities vary with each WE Day, but can include press conferences, red carpets, and interviews with students, celebrities and spokespeople. For more information on WE Day and to view our recent announcements, please visit weday.com/press.

As a Public Relations volunteer at WE Day you will work closely with the PR team to support the seamless execution of media activities. You will gain valuable experience in a fast-paced, live event environment. The team is looking for volunteers who are professional and friendly, mature and responsible, with strong problem-solving skills and events experience. A background in public relations through a school program or work experience is preferred.


  • Provide support to the PR team in executing media activities
  • Ensure media have a smooth and seamless experience
  • Specific roles range from hosting media throughout the day, supporting media registration, overseeing different press stations within the venue, and assisting with additional media activities (your role will be assigned to you at training)


Wednesday, November 16th 5:00 – 8:00 pm, MTS Centre

WE Day

Friday, November 18th 7:30 am- 2:15 pm, MTS Centre

Apply Now

Those interested in volunteering can contact Alea Clark, Volunteer Recruitment and Crowd Pumper Coordinator, WE Day, directly at alea.clark@we.org.

2016 PACE Student Scholarship

PACE Scholarship-Natalie Geddes
Natalie Geddes, PACE recipient (left) of the Public Relations, Marketing and Communications program was awarded the CPRS $500 scholarship

Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the PACE Scholarship! Natalie Geddes was awarded at the U of W’s convocation ceremony on Oct. 14.

This annual $500 scholarship is presented by CPRS Manitoba to the University of Winnipeg student who achieves the highest mark in PR in the Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) program at The University of Winnipeg.

Thank You from Mark Ragan

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the CPRS Manitoba event with Mark Ragan in late June. We had 130 people attend to make it our most successful professional development event ever! The event was a trending Twitter topic for the entire morning. And your enthusiasm and feedback was inspiring!

Below, please see a message that Mark asked us to share with you. Again, thanks for attending, and CPRS Manitoba will see you in the fall!

Hi there,

It was wonderful seeing you last week (thank you to the CPRS Manitoba members for hosting us!). You made me feel like a real celebrity for the first time in my life! It was immensely flattering—and touching. I’ll never forget the sincere warmth of your welcome to Canada.

If you left feeling as inspired and motivated as I did, and you feel you need more training or want to bring me to your organization or team, please email my stateside colleague, Keri Gavin at kerig@ragan.com. Let her know a bit more about your needs. She’ll be happy to work with you to craft a customized training session or speaking engagement with me.

Thanks again for your amazing welcome and your enthusiastic questions. I’m still babbling about you to my Ragan people here in Chicago.

Mark Ragan

P.S. Please connect with me on LinkedIn, if you haven’t done so already!

Announcing the 2016/17 Board of Directors

CPRS Manitoba is pleased to announce the 2016/17 Board of Directors. This year’s slate was elected at on May 26 at the annual general meeting.

Conor Lloyd*

Past President
Tamara Bodi*

Susan Harrison*

David Hultin, APR

Tammy Sawatzky

David Hultin, APR

Chris Albi

Samantha Lapedus, Jennifer Pawluk, Arpita Goala

Jack Rach, Katrina Sklepowich, Arpita Goala

Renée Barclay, Janine Harasymchuk**

Professional Development/Communications
Melissa Matias

Student Liaison
Matthew Alcock, Red River College

*The positions of President, Vice-President, and Past-President are entering the first of a two-year term.

**Janine Harasymchuk was appointed as co-chair of the CPRS Manitoba Mentorship Program by elected members of the board. After the slate had been distributed, Janine put her name forward to join our board to support Renée as a co-chair for Mentorship. Since the deadline was missed for the AGM we were not able to include her on the slate, which is why the board voted to add her in a supporting role.


Ragan Ticket Giveaway!

The CPRS Manitoba event, Brand Journalism with Mark Ragan, sold out almost immediately after we announced it. Fortunately, our presenting sponsor Great-West Life is giving a ticket away to one lucky student.

To enter and be eligible to win the ticket you must:

  • Be a current or recently graduated (between 2014-2016) student of Public Relations, Marketing & Strategic Communication Diploma Program at the University of Winnipeg or of the Creative Communications program at Red River College
  • Tweet a question for @MarkRaganCEO using the hashtag #RaganCPRSMB
  • You must also be a legal resident of Manitoba and 18 years old on or before June 3, 2016.

Official contest rules, in their entirety can be found here.

Thank you to our Ragan sponsors

CPRS Manitoba gratefully acknowledges the support of our sponsors, helping to bring Mark Ragan to Winnipeg for a half-day professional development session on brand journalism on June 10.

The generous support of Great-West Life, the University of Manitoba, Dooley Communications, the Winnipeg Airports Authority and Shannon Leigh Photography will help ensure the success of this CPRS Manitoba event.

Presenting Sponsor: Great-West Life

Great-West Life Logo

Sponsors: Dooley Communications, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Airports Authority,

Dooley Communications    University of Manitoba

Winnipeg Airports Authority

Photography Sponsor: Shannon Leigh Photography

Shannon Leigh Photography

Congratulations Katrina Sklepowich

CPRS Manitoba offers two $500 scholarships to outstanding students in full-time public relations programs in the province who are CPRS members, one to a Red River College PR student and the other enrolled in the University of Winnipeg’s PACE program. CPRS Manitoba developed the awards to recognize the highest academic achievement in each program, and to assist students as they make the transition to a career public relations.

This year’s recipient of the Red River College scholarship is Katrina Sklepowich. We congratulate her for her outstanding achievement in the Creative Communications PR program and wish her continued success as she enters the workforce.

For more information on our scholarships, students at the Red River College and the U of W are encouraged to ask their instructors or contact us at info@cprs.mb.ca with the subject line, Scholarship.