April Presidents' Message

6 April 2020

Dear CPRS Hamilton,

Last month, you may recall that we announced the postponement of our Society’s upcoming, in-person events including our Member Appreciation Night, #ElevatePR6, our AccessPR event and more. The decision reflected the best available guidance from public health authorities, at a time when many had hoped that physical distancing efforts would only be required for a few weeks.

We all know how much has changed since then. The reality has sunk in for many of us that the full impact of the pandemic is far from evident. We also know that it will require us to be vigilant, consistent and united in our efforts to help slow its spread and sustain the capacity of our healthcare system to treat all those in need of assistance.

To that end, we are writing today to announce that CPRS Hamilton is now indefinitely postponing our in-person events until the Province and our health care officials declare it is safe to hold them.

AGM and Special Awards Night

Our in-person Annual General Meeting and Special Awards Gala that was scheduled for May 12 at the Oakville Golf Club is cancelled.

The CPRS Hamilton Board will be meeting next week to determine a new date for the AGM, which will be held virtually before June 30. As in prior years, our members will receive our financial statements and our Annual Report in advance of the AGM. More information including the process for making nominations for next year’s slate of Directors will be forthcoming shortly.

Our Special Awards gala portion of our May 12 event intended to celebrate both our 2019-2020 Pinnacle Award winners and Special Award recipients. Given that the adjudication is complete, we will proceed with celebrating our winners – but will do so remotely, via a social media campaign during the month of May. In so doing, we will celebrate the outstanding contributions of our members to the public relations profession and honour the tremendous effort that has been completed by our members to reflect on their work and submit their applications. More details will be coming in the weeks ahead.

COVID-19 Resources from CPRS National

In case you missed it – CPRS National has assembled a number of resources to assist with communications during this pandemic. Any member looking for assistance and/or support during the pandemic can visit cprs.ca/connect to access both the COVID-19 Resource Centre and Discussion Forum.

Log in today to access these new additions, and more:

A Special Message for our Members:

Your CPRS Hamilton Board recognizes the work that you are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important and incredibly stressful. The situation is unprecedented and continues to evolve; however, as communicators, we are working tirelessly to protect employees, stakeholders, and communities. Thank for the extra hours that you are putting in to keep your company, clients, and communities updated and safe. If there is anything that CPRS Hamilton can do to support you, please let us know.

Our board also recognizes that our members may find themselves in unfamiliar, uncertain, or precarious work and home situations. We know this is an incredibly difficult situation—emotionally, psychologically and financially—and we are here to provide any support that we can. If you haven’t done so already, please visit cprs.ca/connect to access the COVID-19 Resource Centre and Discussion Forum and don’t forget about the CPRS Jobs Board.

For our student members, we know that this isn’t how you imagined your terms ending. As post-secondary educators and administrators ourselves, we empathize with the impact this pandemic has had on your studies and applaud both you and your instructors for adapting to an online format. If you are completing your education this term, please know that you have earned your credentials; Do not be daunted by the market you are entering. Communication professionals are needed now more than ever and each of you is extraordinarily capable. We are available to assist wherever we can in helping you to start your careers.

CPRS has always been a tremendous resource, connecting us to others in our profession who we can learn from and lean on. To that end, we’ll end with a request: please make time this week to reach out to a fellow CPRS member—from Hamilton or across the country—and check in on them. A single email or phone call may make all the difference in someone’s day.


Christine Szustaczek, APR and Dustin Manley, APR, CMP
Co-Presidents, CPRS Hamilton