A New Practitioner’s Perspective on #ELEVATEPR6

By: Greg Wing

Public Relations Officer, Biker’s Against Child Abuse and CPRS Hamilton Mentorship Participant

30 March 2021

As someone new to CPRS and public relations, I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for #ELEVATEPR6. Would this conference be something a new practitioner should attend? What value could it hold for someone as new to the profession?

Guest speakers who are experts in their fields were lined up to talk, and other practitioners with far more experience in PR than me were set to attend. Though most of what was to be talked about might go right over my head, I signed up and thought, “what do I have to lose?”

Within the first few minutes, I realized most attendees were already acquaintances or colleagues, and I was definitely one of the new kids in town. I sat back, listened to a few conversations, and felt out the room. I am not a shy person, but I like to get to know the audience before jumping in. Luckily, it didn’t take long to be brought into the conversation, as everyone started reaching out to welcome me into the fold. The next thing I knew, I was networking with practitioners from various industries and beginning to understand that everyone there was prepared to learn something.

A few of the conversations mentioned the quality of the lecturers we were about to hear from, making it clear that this event would not be one to miss. Over two afternoons, I would hear from some of the best in their field about different concepts and ideas related to public relations.

There were a couple of presentations that stood out to me. Shannon Gallagher showcased how to successfully work with influencers as part of a PR strategy. Davis McKenzie discussed Indigenous relations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Michael Meath drove home some points on crisis communication. For me, these presentations were so incredibly insightful. In those few short presentations, I better understood the concepts I had been shown in my courses at school.

#ELEVATEPR6 was an incredible event. As everything wrapped up on the second afternoon, I was glad I signed up. Looking back at those questions I had first asked myself, I knew I had clear answers. Yes, this was something a new practitioner should attend, and yes, the value in attending was highly worth it. Not only were the presentations enlightening and informative, but the networking opportunities were also incredible. I now have many new connections within the PR community that I know over time will become valued colleagues.

And as for the question, what did I have to lose? Nothing. I had absolutely nothing to lose, but I can guarantee that I gained so much. I cannot wait for #ELEVATEPR7, and I hope to see so many new faces there.