Network affiliates: Why you should join a member-driven community

August 8, 2012

PRSA is proud to support a thriving network of more than 32,000 members, with expertise spanning an extensive range of organizational settings, industries and specialized practice areas.

To meet these diverse needs, PRSA offers 14 Professional Interest Sections that serve PR practitioners ranging from recent graduates to senior agency executives.

Whatever your goals are, there is a niche community available that can offer you the support and insight that you need. From military and government communication, to financial services, to entertainment and sports, we have you covered. 

We also have groups geared toward those who specialize in employee or corporate communications, work as independent practitioners or are educators.

Although Section members are increasingly connecting via digital channels, they still view face-to-face communications as the most valuable networking experience, according to a recent survey.  These connections allow members to brainstorm, share knowledge or seek advice.

Our annual conferences are an opportunity to get involved. Upcoming events for 2012 include the Technology Section’s HyperConnections in Atlanta on Sept. 27-28 and the Educators Academy Conference prior to the start of the International Conference on Oct. 13 in San Francisco.

In addition to sessions hosted by each Section at the International Conference, we are also offering a networking lunch on Oct. 15 for those interested in exploring the benefits of a particular Section and meeting with current members.

Year-round learning

Throughout the year, Sections offer free webinars, brown bags, tweet chats and other virtual learning opportunities, which are tailored to each community and provide practical guidance and opportunities for discussion.

You can also access these sessions in a virtual library if you are unable to participate at the time of the webinar.

Our Sections are member-driven communities, providing volunteer leadership opportunities, such as planning events, recruiting new members and producing newsletters.

PRSA members consistently report that the more they use their membership, the more value they get out of the Society.

But don’t just take our word for it. A July 17 post on idealist.org’s blog listed five ways that volunteering can boost your career, including:

  • Develop new skills that you may not otherwise learn in your day-to-day work.
  • Sharpen your current skills in new contexts.
  • Expand your network and learn from people already involved in your target field.

So become involved for you — and for your profession.

Contact Membership for more information about Professional Interest Sections.

Section leaders sound off

“We offer a variety of benefits, including an active discussion board, syllabus exchange, webinars and a mentorship program. In addition, we offer a Learning to Teach program for those transitioning or considering a transition to teaching.” — Tina McCorkindale, Chair-elect, Educators Academy

“One of our newest member benefits is monthly Member-to-Member Calls. We provide Section members an hour each month to come together over the phone to share ideas and best practices, solve challenges, commiserate, or simply sit back and listen in as a professional development opportunity.” — Steve Zenofsky,  APR, Fellow PRSA, Chair, Corporate Communications Section

“Participation allows for idea-sharing and brainstorming [when] networking with peers facing the same hyperconnected world that moves every second to the next ‘hot’ trend. If you are looking to build a global network of relationships, then our events and activities are the right place to connect.” — Dawn Marie Yankeelov, Chair, Technology Section

“We served as a bridge from PRSSA to PRSA. In my three years on the committee, I connected with top thought leaders, gained new perspectives from national peers and further developed my leadership skills.” — Sarah Siewert, Chair, New Professionals Section

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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