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College of Fellows

The PRSA College of Fellows, founded in 1989, is the gold standard of the world’s largest association of PR professionals. The significance and distinction of the ‘Fellow PRSA’ designation after one’s name are akin to the Academy Award of public relations. The words ‘career pinnacle’ are often used to explain the gravitas of the College of Fellows. A rigorous peer review process has singled out these professionals to be among the ‘best of the best.’

Edward L. Bernays, acknowledged as the founder of the modern public relations profession, was among those named to the inaugural class of the College of Fellows, which established its high caliber of membership. Following those initial Fellows’ traditions of trailblazing and innovation are agency leaders, PhDs, authors, educators, independent consultants, and top corporate and nonprofit communications professionals.

Admittance to the College follows an application and adjudication process, with candidates ultimately being annually elected by the PRSA National Board of Directors. To be considered, applicants must demonstrate superiority in the areas of leadership, advancement of the profession, mentoring, service and being a role model. All must have achieved their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and be an active member of PRSA in good standing.

Candidates’ career and service stories tell of how they have, and continue to, make an appreciable and beneficial impact on organizations, individuals, communities and causes. Learn more from our chair.

Mentoring

Members of the PRSA College of Fellows are encouraged to participate in the mentoring program offered to all members of PRSA. The benefit of being a College of Fellows mentor is that in the fast-paced world of communications, the roles often reverse and the mentor becomes the mentee. Sign up today for this rewarding Fellows activity.

Are you a PRSA member looking for a mentor? Sign up and PRSA will match you with a senior professional.

SAGE Awards

This fall the PRSA College of Fellows will recognize a member of the College who has gone above and beyond in mentoring professionals and PRSSA students. This new award will be exclusive to members of the College of Fellows, but professionals and students who have benefited from the mentoring they’ve received can nominate Fellows. Nominations are closed for 2018. Stay tuned to make your nominations for 2019!
 
Recognizing outstanding efforts in mentoring public relations professionals is part of the College’s #AspireHigher focus. Whether guiding new professionals in their careers, assisting colleagues in preparation for the APR credentialing process or supporting highly seasoned practitioners in navigating strategic career changes, Fellows invest in others in our profession on a daily basis.
 
The College of Fellows leadership team has created the SAGE Award to recognize a Fellow who has applied exceptional mentoring skills and focus to others in the public relations field. The name was chosen to reference the wisdom and guidance that members bring to people at various stages of their strategic communications careers.
 
The professionals or students who have benefited from the mentoring they’ve received can make by other Fellows, as well as nominations for this award. The process is simple and direct: Nominators are encouraged to propose a Fellow for the SAGE award, writing a short narrative – 500 words or less – to tell us how that Fellow provided guidance and inspiration that made a measurable outcome or life-changing impact on the mentee or mentees. A panel of judges will select an awardee from among the entries submitted, with the inaugural SAGE Award winner being recognized at the College of Fellows Induction dinner at the International Conference in Austin.

Apply

If you have at least 20 years’ experience in public relations, are accredited and believe you are leaving a footprint in the public relations profession, please consider joining the PRSA College of Fellows. Applications are due on the first Thursday in May each year. The process takes some time. PRSA encourages you to begin the process much earlier. Consider having a GoodFellow coach you through the process.

To become a Fellow, current, accredited PRSA members must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Minimum of 20 years’ public relations experience.
  • Demonstrated superior professional capability in the practice/teaching of public relations.
  • Advanced the profession.
  • Contributed to the profession or the community through service and leadership.
  • Served as a role model in the profession and the community.

New members of the PRSA College of Fellow are chosen each summer following a rigorous application process. They are subject to all requirements of PRSA and the Code of Ethics, as well as the higher standards set forth in the College of Fellows Standards of Excellence.

What's Happening

The PRSA's College of Fellows is busy throughout the year working on various initiatives supporting its strategic plan. There is more information in the letter from the College of Fellows Chair. We’re always looking for volunteers to help out, so if you are a College of Fellows member and want to get involved, please let us know.

2018 Officers, PRSA College of Fellows

Officers for the College of Fellows in 2017 are:

Immediate Past Chair — Julie Fix, APR, Fellow PRSA

Chair Deborah Radman, APR, Fellow PRSA

Chair Elect Geri Evans, APR, Fellow PRSA

Vice Chair Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA

Secretary-Treasurer Greg Bailey, APR, Fellow PRSA

4-Minute Fellow Presentation

The 4-Minute Fellow presentations are concise, visually appealing presentations that were prepared to allow members of the College of Fellows to briefly explain the College and its purpose, and to remind PRSA members to learn more, consider applying and/or plan to apply as a continuation of PRSA involvement. Our intent is to promote the College of Fellows as an aspirational and valuable recognition of achievement, service, mentoring and leadership.

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