In Week Four of professor Tim Tuck's Principles of Public Relations (PR) class, board members Kimberly Sopko and Toni Shelton explained to the students just what CPRS Hamilton is, and why we should join. From a PR student's perspective, here is why I decided to become a student member of CPRS Hamilton.
Hint: I believed that it would elevate my résumé and advance my knowledge of the PR practice as I forge ahead into the industry!
Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) HamiltonAs stated on their website, CPRS Hamilton is the "voice for the professional development, promotion and recognition of professional public relations practitioners in Hamilton, Halton, Niagara and Southwestern Ontario."
But I'm not yet a professional PR practitioner! Am I still eligible for membership?As a student of Mohawk College's PR Graduate Certificate Program - Yes, you are! Sopko and Shelton explained that membership applicants must devote most of their work-for-pay time to the practice of PR, have a degree or be in the process of getting a degree in public relations, or be a career teacher or administrator engaged in PR or communications education at an accredited post-secondary institution.
Isn't the membership fee a whopping $350?A perk of being a student member is that membership only costs $30 for the first year, plus the year after that!
Personally, the member benefits are what convinced me to join CPRS Hamilton, because they all are designed to assist me in becoming a well-rounded PR professional.
Throughout the year, there will be:
- Networking opportunities that will help me build a professional network with fellow PR students and local PR professionals
- Professional development events, including webinars and luncheons
- Potential job leads and volunteer opportunities in national and local sites
- Student discounted rates for the National Canadian Public Relations Conference
- Student awards - local and national
- Access to a mentorship program
CPRS Hamilton Mentorship ProgramEach year, the mentorship committee pairs more than a dozen mentors and mentees after careful consideration of each individual's areas of interest.
On October 7, applications closed for the 2016-17 mentorship program, and I received the great news that I was successfully selected as a mentee! The first mentorship event was October 12 at The Hamilton Spectator, and the purpose of this event was to meet the program participants and participate in a speed networking/mentoring circuit. To prepare for the event, I looked through each of the mentors biographies to begin the vetting process. At the event, I had approximately five minutes with each mentor to finalize my top three picks. Interested in knowing who my mentor is? Feel free to ask me in class!
Upcoming CPRS Hamilton EventsAs part of the mentorship program, I will be attending an event on November 3, called "Choose your own adventure: Career paths in PR." Mentees will have the opportunity to learn more about different sectors of the PR practice, including corporate, government, healthcare and education, and freelance and agency.
However, there are other events that YOU can get involved in! On November 15, CPRS Hamilton presents, "Advanced Writing and Brand Journalism," in partnership with Ragan Communications, Inc., at Hamilton's Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Publisher and CEO Mark Ragan will be leading attendees through a two-part workshop on Advanced Writing and Brand Journalism which will include successful Canadian PR case studies. Keep in mind that this may be a great event to ask for as an early Christmas gift, since the event fee is not quite - ahem - student-friendly!
Connect with CPRS HamiltonStay up-to-date on future CPRS Hamilton events and learn more about the organization:
Canadian Public Relations Society
CPRS Hamilton Mentorship Program