2024 Manitoba Communicators of the Year Awards

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2024 
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
Location: Qualico Family Centre (330 Assiniboine Park Drive)
*Food and refreshments will be served
**Cash bar


Some of the most successful brands today have figured out how to be purpose-driven and know how to drive continuous improvement by listening to their customers and employees. The Canadian Public Relations Society of Manitoba invites you to a night of networking and celebrating as we look at the future of reputation management and the technology that enables organizational listening.

Lee Becker is the senior vice-president and executive advisor for Medallia Experience Management Public Sector and Healthcare. As the keynote presenter for the evening, Lee will share how US Veterans Affairs is using real-time feedback to make veteran care stronger.

In 2017, the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times the rate for nonveteran adults, according to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, increasing the average number of veteran suicides per day to 16.8.

“The VA historically has always been in reactive mode, always caught by surprise,” he said, citing the example of the lack of health care for female veterans, who are 2.2 times more likely to die by suicide than non-veteran women.

After a damaging report by the Washington Post in 2014 detailing thousands of veterans waiting for healthcare as VA employees were allegedly directed to manipulate records, some things had to change. 

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ventured out on a journey to improve customer experiences for the Veterans, families, caregivers, survivors, and employees the agency serves. To support this effort, the department created the federal government’s first customer service office — known as the Veterans Experience Office (VEO).

“What the team has managed to achieve since we first envisioned what customer-centricity would look like at the VA has been more than impressive, it’s been transformative.” 

The program utilizes artificial intelligence systems to monitor responses based on tone and language and respond immediately to at-risk veterans. About 2,800 crisis alerts have been routed to VA offices, according to Medallia, providing early intervention for more than 1,400 veterans in need within minutes of being alerted. Read more here.

Today, VA’s trust score among Veterans is at an all-time high of 90%, up from 55% in 2016, and by combining customer experience with employee experience the organization has saved millions of dollars in administrative costs, proving that a public sector workforce can have lower overhead and deliver better care.

Read more about the US Veterans Affairs Case Study here.

2024 Manitoba Communicators of the Year Award Recipients

CPRS Manitoba will announce the winners of the 2024 MCOY Awards later the same night along with recognizing this year’s successful Accredited Public Relations (APR) candidates.