Congrats to McGill’s first PRK success!

Audrey Champagne, now completing the Diploma in PR&CM, successfully wrote the PRK (“Public Relations Knowledge”) exam in January. This makes her the first from our programs (and one of 27 across Canada) to have bragging rights as a successful PRK candidate, have her bio posted on the CPRS national website, and add this significant achievement to her CV.

Speaking with a certain amount of inside knowledge, I can say that anyone who’s done well in our McGill programs and has very good writing skills can pass this exam without a whole lot of cramming.  Content covers PR/comms terminology, mini-cases (ethics and planning) and writing/editing skills. Join me on May 3rd and show Canadian employers what McGill students can do! Details:

Give your CV traction! Write the PRK exam May 3

Advanced students and recent grads who have been mulling over the idea of writing the CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society’s) PRK exam will have their next chance at McGill on Saturday, May 3. The PRK (for “Public Relations Knowledge”) exam was established last year by CPRS to give students an opportunity to differentiate themselves.

PR/Comms work opportunities are multiplying rapidly these days — but so are the applicants.  Thousands of new and recent graduates flood the market every year, and employers have a hard time identifying the best and the brightest. (One certificate or diploma looks much like another to them.) Most CVs sit in unread piles on executives’ desks. Stand out from the crowd! Info:

Career Workshop moved to fall

The Student and Alumni Network Career Workshop has been moved from spring to fall 2013. More news as plans develop – watch this space.  BTW, this frees up Saturday, May 11 for students interested in writing the new PRK exam. (See April 18 post.) Let Elizabeth know if you are interested and check out the PRK website for further details. Deadline to register: May 8.

Nationwide public relations entry-level exam comes to Montreal

Employers in consulting firms, industry and government frequently receive 150 or more CVs for every entry-level position they open.  Do you think they read them all? Would you?  As they’ve told CPRS (the Canadian Public Relations Society), they don’t have the time. Instead, they quickly look for things that distinguish the best applicants.  What are those? Good writing skills and workplace readiness, and good judgement. These, along with basic public relations knowledge, are tested in the newly developed Public Relations Knowledge (PRK) Exam. It was created by CPRS after two years of consultation with students, educators and employers. Students and recent graduates who pass it will stand out from the pack as people who are ready to be hired.

Saturday, May 11 is the date when applicants across Canada will have a chance to write the PRK Exam, on line, from proctored locations in several Canadian cities, including, for the first time, Montreal. (In English only this time around). McGill is providing a computer lab at 688 Sherbrooke West for anyone wanting to take on this challenge.

CPRS membership is not required to write the PRK Exam. It is open to everyone, whether you are a student, a recent
graduate or a new entrant to the public relations profession. The deadline to register for the exam is Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Click on the embedded links for more info.

New tool to identify “ace” candidates for entry-level PR jobs

Just heard that Edelman PR’s Toronto branch gets between 95 and 120 CVs per month from entry-level candidates – – for between one and three positions! And they’re not the only ones. We hear the same thing from firms in Montreal and other cities. Public relations and communications management is a growing field – which means growing competition for good jobs. I’m glad to say many of our graduates do very well in the job market – but it doesn’t always come easy.

There is now a way for entry-level candidates and recent PR grads to distinguish themselves in the market: the new PRK (public relations knowledge) exam. Developed by the Canadian Pubic Relations Society (CPRS) after extensive research with industry, students and educators, the exam measures knowledge of the field, as well as qualities employers told CPRS they need most from new hires: writing skills, judgement and workplace readiness. After a pilot project in Calgary last fall, the exam debuts this month – January 26 to be precise – in five Canadian cities.  (Montreal is not anong them but will probably be added next time.) It’s done on line, but from a proctored site in each city.

Graduates wiith less than two years’ experience who want to take the PRK exam can check out the CPRS website. For a more detailed story, see the recorded presentation (which can be watched on Slideshare to speed it up). There is a preparation package for those with little PR background, but graduates of the McGill programs should not have much difficulty.

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