You’ve probably noticed the billboards and bus bench ads over the last two months from Make Something Edmonton. The ads are based on successful anecdotes from local businesses and organizations. However, as an Edmontonian, I’m really disappointed in this approach.
I’ve only had one opportunity so far to attend a public relations conference. Last year, I headed to Calgary to the Health Care Public Relations Association‘s national conference. I heard from colleagues who presented their experiences in health care public relations and learned tons of information and connected with my peers.
But I’ve never attended a Canadian Public Relations Association conference. The cost has always been prohibitive.
This week CPRS Edmonton is celebrating 50 years of communications with a gala dinner and a one-day conference and I will be taking part. Note that I’m on the board of directors as the communications chair and I’ve also been volunteering as part of the conference committee. Despite this, I want to tell you five reasons why this conference is a great opportunity for Edmonton PR professionals.
Jim Starko is a communications professional whose last assignment was at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and is currently between assignments. He is actively looking for a new challenge.
1. Why are you passionate about public relations?
My passion for public relations stems from a couple of things.
First, in the communications profession, no two days are the same and the challenges are constantly evolving and changing. It’s really an exhilarating profession and work environment to be part of. You have to work smart, be quick on your feet, able to adjust to changing circumstances on the fly and have great communications “instincts” to be able to predict what’s coming and take a proactive approach to managing situations and issues effectively.
Secondly, I have personally witnessed and been a part of shaping “good” communications within all of the organizations I have had the pleasure of contributing to over the years and seeing what a difference “good” communications has made in helping these organizations attain or surpass their corporate objectives. I’ve also witnessed the demise of many individuals and organizations because they didn’t have a clue about being effective communicators.
Rob Thomas is the next PR practitioner that I am featuring in my series. If you love NHL hockey, you probably will be very jealous to learn that Rob is going into his fourth season as the coordinator of communications and media relations for the Edmonton Oilers. He answers my 10 questions below.
Communication is all about power. I confess that is partially why I’ve been a communicator my whole life. Writing stories as a journalist and especially as an editor, I always waited to see if there was a reaction.
Now as a public relations practitioner, I wait to see if communication moves people, drives people to change their attitude and behaviours and eventually, specific outcomes. This is what part of communication fascinates me – how people use or manipulate this power. Continue reading
Edmonton has many talented public relations professionals. So I’ve decided to start a monthly profile to feature these professionals to gain insight and wisdom into the career path which I chose over five years ago.
I approached Sue Heuman, ABC, principal of Edmonton public relations firm, Focus Communications, to be my first profile. Sue, who has been in the business for over 30 years, answered my 10 questions.