The Canadian Public Relations Society

CPRS Calgary Congratulates Legacy Award Winner Ryan Ferguson

In Students on May 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm

CPRS Calgary Congratulates Legacy Award Winner Ryan Ferguson

By Vince Kanasoot

Introducing Ryan

Ryan Ferguson knows how to make an entrance. On April 4, this outstanding public relations student was introduced to many of Calgary’s top public relations leaders at the CPRS event Steps to Success, where Ryan was named the inaugural winner of CPRS’ Legacy Award. This award will acknowledge one stand-out public relations student annually and was presented this year by CPRS Calgary president Janice Robertson, APR.

“My interest in business and writing led me to the public relations program at Mount Royal University (MRU),” said Ryan, who recently completed his second year as a public relations major and marketing minor.

Empowering communicators and their audiences

Ryan won the Legacy Award with an essay that discussed the merits of using two-way symmetrical communications systems to achieve effective and strategic public relations.
“Symmetrical two-way communications allows for companies and their customers to interact with each other,” said Ryan. “This model empowers the customer and often results in a stronger relationship between both parties. Social media is an excellent example.”

Jumping to new heights

While growing up on his family’s acreage outside Calgary, Ryan competed in show jumping with his horse for eight years. “I was nicknamed Flyin’ Ryan for all the times I fell off my horse,” joked Ryan. A seasoned trooper, Ryan always got back up onto his horse in time to continue jumping.
How fitting then, that he will be leaping his way into the professional social media scene this summer with an internship at the social media agency Socialish. In addition to managing social media activities for Socialish’s clients this summer, Ryan will also work as a brand ambassador for the experimental marketing company Tigris Personnel. He is looking forward to representing Tigris Personnel at tradeshows and various other industry-related events.

Looking beyond the summer

What lies ahead for Ryan? After he completes the communications degree program at MRU, Ryan envisions a number of exciting, possible paths. “Managing a large organization’s communications seems like a very interesting challenge, but I’m also keen on almost anything that involves sports,” said Ryan. “Right now though, I want to try some different things and see what I like best.”

CPRS would like to congratulate Ryan on winning the 2013 Legacy Award. It looks like he’s well on his way to pursuing a successful public relations career. Make way for Flyin’ Ryan!


Marion Hill: Marketing practitioner, business owner and teacher of aspiring entrepreneurs

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

Marion Hill is one of the speakers at the exciting Independent Entrepreneurs’ Half-Day Conference happening this week in Calgary on January 25, 2013.

She is a marketing practitioner, business owner and teacher of aspiring entrepreneurs. In her session: Client Relationships – How You Engage is Reflective of Your Brand, Marion will guide you through building successful client relationships by defining and connecting brand with the type of client you want to work with. “The key to your brand is you! And I hope we can get to the core of who you are, what makes you tick, your essence is your brand, why you do what you do,” she says. “You will come out of the time we have to gather with some focus and a clear- word-picture of your brand and of you.”

Strong client relationships start with who you are, what you offer and how you like to work — in other words, understanding your brand is fundamental to developing strong client relationships. Marion describes her personal success as based on this principle “Central to my brand is the word — relationships. I have made some great relationships with my clients and staff, who I can count on and this is a reflection that they can count on me.”

Defining your brand for yourself and your business will help you identify the type of client you work best with and help potential clients identify your business as a contender. She sums up the key to her multi-industry experience and success for her company with “Well I am the best example of not needing a full marketing plan in some ways. My clients are my best promotion. Every client I have ever gained I can track from either working with a non-profit in a volunteer capacity and they got to know me there or I got the client from a direct referral.”

If you would like to meet Marion and hear her talk, you can register for the mini-conference at

Personal Branding: A Chat with Bonnie Elgie, APR

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2013 at 10:30 am


By Tamania Jaffri Naqi

Bonnie Elgie, APR, is one of the speakers at the exciting Independent Entrepreneurs’ Half-Day Conference happening in Calgary on January 25, 2013. She shares some interesting insights about her talk: “Building Your Personal Brand Online” and why you should be paying attention in 2013.

“Personal branding is a big buzz word in the consulting world right now. More than that it’s about you, the individual and how it relates to the career path you map for yourself,” said Bonnie. “During my talk we will explore what personal branding means to people around the table and will discuss what you need to do to establish your brand online.”

Bonnie plans to work with participants through worksheets to explore different components of personal branding. Working together participants will see how they apply their personal brand across various social media channels and what needs to be done to create a professional image.

Bonnie has some interesting examples to share about great personal brands. She worked with Arlene Dickinson 12 years ago and admires how Arlene has grown to become one of the most influential business women and a symbol for entrepreneurship in Canada. Bonnie also respects W. Brett Wilson in positioning himself to be synonyms with philanthropy and strategic giving in Canada and specifically in Calgary.

Bonnie looks at the celebrity and athletes arena to give examples of bad personal branding or an image gone wrong. A top of the mind name was Lance Armstrong. “Some might argue that Donald Trump used to have a great personal brand that has been weakened by his actions and comments on politics,” Bonnie added. “Britney Spears is another example of a deteriorated brand when she was going through a tough phase in her life, however she has worked over the past two years to build her image again.”

Personal brand building requires effort and Bonnie reminds that just like any marketing strategy it takes time. However the social media realm we live in now is so immediate it’s possible to build awareness as soon as you work on the key components. “It’s not all online,” Bonnie reminds. “It’s also how you meet people, and use traditional media. Personal branding is multi-layered but online is a key part.”

Personal branding applies to independent consultants, small business owners and those following traditional career paths. It’s something everyone can benefit from.

If you would like to meet Bonnie and hear her talk, you can register for the mini-conference at