PR is dead. Long live the storytellers.

I didn’t decide to wrap up my 4 year tenure as the Communications Director of the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival because PR is dead. (Although Mat Wilcox closing down her firm rang like a bell from the heart of Vancouver : ding, dong, the the game is forever changed. Start over. Start over.)

Since TIME magazine declared that God was dead, great and unkillable things (that were never actually alive to begin with, to wit: print, the book, the web) have been declared rigor mortis so frequently, that I’ve stopped paying attention to the headlines, and started paying attention more to my gut. (If it smells bad, it’s not a good sign.)


The challenge was not so much the potential death of traditional PR, but the premature death of this PR chick. PR is never done. The wheel never stops spinning. Waking up at 3am thinking, “I haven’t called Outside magazine yet.” “I wonder what MissSnowItAll is doing in April?” “Why can’t I get that Classified song out of my head???” is ultimately a recipe for complete alienation from powder days…

What always fuelled my stoke for the Festival was the way it served as a vehicle for such amazing things – for Kalina Hornsby to launch her fashion career, or for a young local photographer like Geoff Jansen to meet an editor in the Superpipe pit and sell his first image, or for Cathy Jewett and Dano Pendygrasse to spin an online promotional gimmick into a meaningful way to honour fallen friends. That’s what inspired me to work so hard for four years…

But when all your creative effort goes into promoting a vehicle for other people to do amazing things, there is a big bucket of amazing things you’re not doing yourself…  And with La Nina bringing her sexy snow-dousing way to the ‘hood this winter, untethering from my computer and turning “mountain” into a verb, took on a degree of urgency.

The drive-to-work Magic 8 Ball says: a beautiful November 10 day in Whistler

So I sit back as the @wssf twitter feed goes quiet. I make a note in my day planner to buy Pro Photo Showdown tickets on-line as soon as they go on sale. And I’m tuning my skis, getting fresh batteries for my transceiver and pulling out my WB pass, in anticipation of plenty of quality time with Ullr. I’m stoked to have half-a-grown-up-job, as a 3-day-a-week copywriter with Origin Design + Communications. And to otherwise open-wide my calendar to live, breathe, eat and sleep winter in the mountains, all the better to tell stories with, my dear. Because whatever happens to PR, print, the book, journalism and the web, our appetite for great stories will never die.

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