PRK Profile: Joe Groat

Joe Groat is a man on the move. The native of Edson, roughly two hours west of Edmonton, recently graduated from the public relations program at Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary. Joe currently works for Shell Canada Ltd. as a communications advisor, but it's the journey he took to get there that makes his story different from others.

He graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a marketing degree and, fueled by his interest in the oil and gas sector, started working for Shell on the IT side of the company. Joe found the complexities and challenges of the energy sector a true calling for him and later enrolled at MRU so he could work in the industry from a communications perspective. He worked full-time throughout the entirety of his PR degree.

"I chose to move to public relations because of the incredible diversity in the different areas of communications that a person can work in," said Groat. "As a communications professional you will usually have insights into the organization you work for that other people do not. Having a deep understanding of the organization, what makes it tick and how you can help improve it is all very appealing and exciting to me."

It was during his very first public relations class at MRU where Joe first heard about the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). Instructors had provided students with a background of the Society and the benefits of joining for those just entering the profession. After learning about the Society's Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam, Joe identified it as an opportunity to prove to other professionals in the industry that he had a good understanding of core communications skills. Joe thought of this exposure early on in his career as a chance to enhance his credibility with potential employers, or industry colleagues at networking events.

Between course work and his full-time job, Joe did what a good public relations professional does, he networked. His hard work eventually paid off in the form of an investor relations position with another organization in the industry. He later moved to an external communications role at the same organization before returning to Shell in his current role.

Joe is enjoying his time with Shell and his role in social investment, managing a national energy literacy campaign for students across Canada. CPRS National congratulates Joe on passing the PRK exam and his continued success with his career.