Words of advice for PR students home for the summer: Save at least an extra $60 and put it to good use by joining PRSSA when you return to campus this fall.
Over the weekend, I had the honor of kicking off the annual PRSSA Leadership Rally in 100-degree-plus Scottsdale, Arizona. Chapter presidents and officers colleges engaged in lively discussions about leadership and their roles in building campus organizations devoted to developing future public relations professionals. You can get a sense of conference agenda and discussions via Twitter #PRSSALR.
Currently, about 10,000 students belong to PRSSA, which is a fraction of the total number of students enrolled in public relations programs. I challenged PRSSA leaders to increase chapter membership by 25% during the 2014-15 academic year. Non members don’t need to wait to be contacted by chapter leaders. Through this link students can find out how to join one of 330 PRSSA chapters in the United States.
PRSSA offers benefits that enhance your PR education and jump start the all-important networking process that will assist in your eventual job search. In preparation for my Scottsdale speech, I talked with several recruiters from major agencies. Each of them confirmed that PRSSA on a resume was a plus as they evaluated potential intern and job candidates. And they are especially impressed when PRSSA members hold leadership in their chapters or on the PRSSA national committee. One agency recruiter said all 12 candidates in the most recent pool of potential interns were PRSSA members, and the final person selected was president of her PRSSA chapter.
Immediate past president of PRSSA National Brian Price is a perfect case study for the value of active involvement in the organization. “PRSSA has enhanced my career because it allowed me to create a nationwide network of peers and professionals and develop my portfolio through writing and developing campaigns,” Brian said. “The experience also provided me with energy and enthusiasm for my upcoming career. Like many members, I graduated with stronger skills and a great support system because of PRSSA.” Faced with multiple recent job offers, Brian decided to begin his PR career next week as an assistant account executive in Edelman’s Chicago office.
Case closed. Join PRSSA.