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Michelle Crossland

Public Relations Consultant, Global Public Affairs

Describe a typical day

Every day begins by reading the paper and scanning the news to catch the latest updates and developments in Calgary, especially in the energy industry. From there each day is different. Whether I’m developing a media relation strategy for a client, writing a strategic communications plan, coordinating an advertising strategy, or organizing stakeholder engagement outreach, each day is varied, exciting and fast-paced. Once the work day is over, I switch my focus to training for half and full marathons.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

The number one perk of working in a public relations agency is that I constantly meet different people and gain exposure to new industries. For example, over the past few years I’ve worked with several mid-tier energy and pipeline companies, government and not-for-profit organizations, each with a unique communications challenge or opportunity. One thing that I enjoy about my role is the high functioning teamwork and collaboration that Global’s culture fosters. For every client engagement, we ensure a multi-generational team is in place to offer the best strategic advice to our clients. Two things I love about Global are that everything we do adds strategic value to our client’s projects and that the company places a high priority on employee happiness and morale.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

My proudest accomplishment outside of work is winning 19 scholarships throughout my post-secondary career which enabled me not only to graduate debt free, but spend considerable amounts of time traveling the world. To-date, my proudest career-related accomplishment is being one of the first Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) members to obtain my PRK (Public Relations Knowledge) Accreditation. CPRS is an organization of men and women who practice public relations in Canada and abroad, and the PRK Accreditation is the nation’s first equivalency exam for public relations and communications management professions. Obtaining the PRK designation demonstrates that a candidate meets certain benchmarks for strategic knowledge, public relations planning and execution and CPRS standards of excellence.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

North America’s energy industry is currently scrutinized under a worldwide lens. Stakeholders are demanding more transparency and engagement with each new energy project that is announced. The role of public relations in the industry will only continue to grow as companies realize the increasing importance of proactively managing relationships to meet their business objectives.

Current community involvement efforts.

I’m currently the Media Relations Coordinator for YWE where I’m helping the organization increase membership and communicate the benefits, services and resources it offers to young women in energy through media. Outside of YWE, I sit on the CPRS Calgary Chapter Board of Directors as the Professional Development Co-Chair. In this role, I organize all the networking and professional development events for Calgary communicators and manage a fabulous team of volunteers who help organize and implement each event. Events have included a presentation from WestJet on their award-winning Christmas Miracle experiential marketing campaign and our upcoming ALS Society’s international phenomenon, the Ice Bucket Challenge. These events are meant to expand the skills of current communicators, while offering a forum to network and build professional relationships.

Why YWE?

YWE is the best avenue in Calgary to learn about North America’s oil and gas industry and to receive mentorship from experienced professionals in the energy industry. For me, it’s an avenue to increase my understanding of the industry and meet like-minded people. Most importantly, I’m involved with this organization because I believe communicating about the strengths that young women bring to Calgary’s energy industry is incredibly valuable. We live in a time where women are seeing unprecedented career success, and I want to help ensure that this trend continues in the future.

What are you reading?

I’m currently reading a book called The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson. As one review said, it’s a “silly and wonderful” novel. Sweden is one of my favourite countries and reading a novel by a Swedish author helps me feel as connected to the country as I can be without actually living there.