Happy PRSA New Year: What are your career resolutions?

January 3, 2013

Even for many of us that eschew formal resolutions, the New Year is a time of reflection and commitment, an opportunity to assess where we are and where we want to go.  I’m one of those folks — once again, I’m hoping to get to the gym on a regular basis, even though I wouldn’t be so foolish as to formalize that aspiration!

For many of us, the New Year also brings fresh perspective to our careers and professional situation, though without some support and help, we risk losing focus during the months ahead.  There are a few things you can do — right now — to keep yourself on course for the year.

First, take advantage of our PRSA member webinars. Pick a day each month and block out time during your lunch hour to watch a webinar of your choice from our extensive library of on-demand options.

Consider inviting a few colleagues to join you.  You’ll gain new ideas and outlooks that you can apply immediately, and we offer webinars on a wide variety of topics and at a variety of levels. (Go ahead, put it on your calendar now — I’m not kidding!) 

Second, think about tuning up your career.  Our Jobcenter is the Web’s leading job board for PR professionals, and offers a wide range of helpful career resources. Have a specific question? Check out “Ask the Experts.” And if you are looking for ongoing counsel, then connect with PRSA’s College of Fellows, which has a program that provides mentors to our members.

Third, continue to learn from examples and raise the level of your work. Did you know that we have hundreds of case studies of award-winning programs available? Set a reminder on your calendar to browse the database once a month. You can quickly look through half a dozen case studies to gain new insights.  Want to go deeper? Check out PRSA’s PR Journal. In a recent edition, you’ll find thoughtful analysis of BP’s use of  Twitter during the Deep Water Horizon Crisis, see how State Farm is using social media — and even discover how the film industry portrays PR practitioners.

Fourth, consider volunteering. There are volunteer opportunities throughout PRSA — with Chapters, at Districts, on Committees and on Task Forces.  Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, give back to the profession, expand your community and enhance your résumé. Depending on your area of interest, send an email to your PRSA representative today and see what awaits you. 

Fifth, pass on your experience.  PRSA is always looking for professionals who have a good story to share — one that others can learn from. 

In fact, this month, we’re starting the process of finding speakers for International Conference.  Think about joining us in Philadelphia this year as a presenter.

And finally, if you aren’t a regular, then go to a Chapter meeting. Last month, I had a great opportunity to stop by the New York Chapter’s holiday party. Only as PR people often do, they rethought their entire concept during the weeks prior, and turned it into a benefit for victims of Superstorm Sandy.  I had a chance to reconnect with Chapter leaders and friends, and was reminded of the strength and heart of the PRSA community.  Before heading off to your next Chapter meeting, check out PRSA’s PRServing America program, which encourages our Chapters to give back, in their own way, to their respective communities — just like the New York Chapter did.

Time for me to go — I’m heading to the gym.  And while I’m doing that, you can take a look at your calendar, review our resources, and head in your own direction!

William (Bill) M. Murray, CAE, is the chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
Email: william.murray at prsa.org


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