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 CURRENTS 2012 :: June 10-12, 2012

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May 28, 2012


CAPTAIN'S LOG: "Facing the swell – and sailing on through."

By Kim Van Bruggen, APR, Currents 2012 Co-Chair

With an amazing menu of keynote speakers joining us for the 2012 CPRS National Conference, I am looking forward to savouring a smorgasbord of insights on our PR voyage.

The latest keynote speaker be served up at Currents 2012 is Silken Laumann - a well-known Olympian and Canadian icon, as well as a mother, author, inspirational speaker, and advocate for children and play. Her list of impressive achievements could stretch from sea to sea! Like many of us PR Pros, Silken is a "Captain" multitasker of a demanding schedule. We face the same struggles to limit and focus ourselves on just one it our job, workouts, family, chocolate (you get the picture)... and excel at life!

Sometimes our challenges can be compounded, as Silken can tell you. Hear her story of how - mere weeks after being told she wouldn't row again (after suffering a horrific accident) - she overcame incredible odds to compete in the Olympics, and won a bronze medal! Don't tell us determine, "Type A" people we "can't" do something!

But that doesn't mean we're not sometimes faced with such a tidal wave of change that we wonder how to keep our heads above water!

There will be many of us at the conference who will relate to, and learn from, Silken's personal experience and insights - on and off the water. As Canadian icon, a working wife, mother and businesswoman, her unique life events will inspire us all to think about how opening our hearts and minds to possibilities could release our true potential.

I have known Silken for almost 30 years and I am sure you will not want to miss the opportunity to hear her speak about how life changes can both limit our thinking, and drive our motivation.

The countdown to meet all our wonderful keynote speakers is on. Register today and we'll count you in!

See you in June.


May 15, 2012


CAPTAIN'S LOG: "Keeping up with trends? Say what?"

By Kim Van Bruggen, APR, Currents 2012 Co-Chair

Sometimes I feel like I'm sinking when it comes to keeping up with PR and communications trends. I finally figure out the best way to integrate Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into one social media strategy, and instead of a wave of satisfaction (or even a chance to catch my breath) I'm flooded by the next 10 "must connect", "gotta follow" or "share this" opportunities ...Pinterest anyone??!!

The writing's quite literally on the "wall"; there's no longer any time to rest on your laurels. We have no choice but to be learning something new (again!) as soon as the last trend has reached the mainstream. I wonder if anyone in the PR field can really be considered an "expert" anymore.

Well, as an APR it's a must to keep up my professional designation; I should love all this never-ending learning, right? So go ahead...bring it on!

Despite my slight sarcasm (or is that a riff or a rant these days), I hope you see my point. In order to keep our careers and clients afloat and up-to-date, Pro-D is a must. That's one of the reasons I got involved in Currents 2012. I want to help my peers continue to feel like - and become - the experts you are striving to be in the PR world. I believe that we need to support and learn from each other to ensure no one gets caught in the trend-sucking undertow. That's why this year's CPRS National Conference is all about learning from real life experiences and case studies.

We are four weeks away from welcoming delegates to Victoria, where we'll face the constantly changing tides of communication together. If you haven't signed up yet, it's time to commit to the crew! You know the importance and value of staying current - and I am eager to see how we can all discover new PR territory.

See you in June.


May 4, 2012


CAPTAIN'S LOG: "Keeping pace, and having fun, among changing tides"

By Kim Van Bruggen, APR, Currents 2012 Co-Chair

With only six weeks to go, we are getting ever-more excited to welcome colleagues from across the country to Victoria. It can be daunting to face the ebb and flow of public relations and communications issues that face us today. A few years ago, it seemed I was paddling my own ship - seeking some new ideas, but thinking I had it pretty well figured out. Luckily, I found some insight and illumination on another coast.

My first CPRS National Conference was a few years ago in Halifax. I went with a need to make some connections with colleagues, and a desire to see what the broader profession was up to. My only thought was to break out of my routine and do something different in order to achieve professional and personal goals.

The conference trip was a great excuse to see a new part of the country; I had always wanted to experience Atlantic Canada. I was also intrigued with keynote speaker, General Rick Hillier, and he did not disappoint. Hillier's intuitive knowledge of PR and how to send a message instilled pride in everyone in the room. I can remember his presentation vividly to this day.

At this time, social media was a blip on the horizon for us communicators. Twitter wasn't much of a "thing" yet, and Facebook and blogging were still mostly talk among conference speakers and colleagues. Still, I remember feeling a sense of urgency, excitement and a bit of fear about the future. I knew then that I had just begun an important, wandering journey in my profession. In fact, I remember coming home to Victoria and saying to my colleague, "You HAVE to go to one of these conferences. We HAVE to go and learn more about social media and what's coming down the pipeline." I told her that if we didn't get out there and keep ahead of what was coming we would be "dinosaurs."

It was scary and exciting at the same timeā€”to see the future and know that we had to try to get ahead of the curve, or we'd be left behind. I knew we were at the cusp of many dramatic changes in the media world, and the pace of change has held to a true course. I'm so glad I made professional development an essential part of my own “tools of the trade”. When it comes to keeping up with trends in the industry there's no better way to do it than to connect, share, and learn from each other's experiences.

Whether you have or haven't been to a CPRS National Conference, I encourage you to check out the fantastic line up of speakers, workshops and events washing up on shore in Victoria in six short weeks. If you're anything like me, you'll have a wonderful time meeting peers, experts, and discussing your challenges and successes amid sessions and social events. I can hardly wait until June 10th to launch Currents 2012 ...and show you the best of Victoria!