The main draw of joining a professional organization like PRSA is its plethora of member benefits. Among them are the oft-missed resources to connect professionals of both similar and different backgrounds no matter where they are in the country. Networking, in any of its forms, can be overwhelming, particularly for new pros. So how can we use PRSA’s tools and benefits to network and grow our careers?
First, it’s important to know what’s out there for you to use. New pros have two types of networking tools to use: those available to all PRSA members and some that only New Professionals Section members may access.
For all PRSA members:
Know a member that you want to connect with? Moving to a new city and want to connect with some members of your new chapter beforehand? PRSA’s member directory can help you. The member directory allows PRSA members to search for other members using a variety of criteria. Whether you want to search by name, location, designation, chapter, expertise, section, organizational setting or industry, the member directory is the place to go. Click here to search the PRSA’s member directory.
If sending an email to a stranger isn’t quite up your alley, you’re not alone. A great way to meet other PRSA members organically is by participating in the organization’s monthly Twitter chats. Professionals in a variety of backgrounds and experience levels tune into these chats and share their experience on whatever the topic at hand is. Feel free to like, retweet, reply to and follow any members participating. After the chat, if you’d like to talk more with particular members, tweet at or direct message them. Click here to follow PRSA on Twitter.
The forum is an online message board hosted on PRSA’s website. Members may read threads, post their own questions or comment on those posed by others. There are different threads for professional interest sections, including New Professionals, current issues, and topics in PR. The forum is a great way to ask advice from other members in a somewhat private setting. Click here to access the forum.
Chapter meetings & events
All chapters host meetings and events for members. Attending a happy hour or presentation is a great way to meet other professionals in your area and make connections. Attending is also a great way to get your foot in the door and participate more within your local chapter. Click here to find contact information for your chapter.
PRSA’s international and regional conferences are another great example of how to use your PRSA membership to meet other professionals. Regional conferences are hosted throughout the year by the organization’s 10 districts. PRSA’s annual International Conference is hosted each fall. While attendance is not limited to PRSA members, registration is always discounted with a membership. Click here to learn more about PRSA events.
PRSA Connect is a new benefit launched earlier this year. This online community makes it easier to collaborate and stay connected with your peers. You can join discussion groups and boards relevant to your interests, search for colleagues with similar interests and backgrounds and share resources and information within your community groups. Click here to access PRSA Connect using your MyPRSA login.
For New Professionals Section members:
New Pros LinkedIn Group
Members of the New Professionals section may request to join the section’s private LinkedIn group. Their members can post questions and relevant articles and engage with other section members from across the nation. Click here to visit the New Professionals Section’s LinkedIn group.
New Pros Facebook Group
In addition to our Facebook page, where you can find updates from the section and articles of interest to PR pros, members can join our Facebook group to chat with other members, discuss topics of interest to new pros, ask questions and more. Click here to join the New Pros Facebook group.
Section Twitter Chats & Google Hangouts
As a section, we host monthly Twitter chats and Google hangouts for members to participate in. Each one has a specific topic to be discussed and some have special guests attending to provide some insight from their own experience. All members are encouraged to participate in these chats and hangouts as a great way to learn and meet other section members. Click here to view scheduled chats and hangouts for the rest of 2016.
The New Professionals Section also has a blog chock full of resources, tips, and advice for new pros. Anyone can read the blog, but it’s entirely written by section members. Each month focuses on a particular topic and is a great way for new pros to showcase both their writing skills and expertise. Click here to check out the upcoming topics and volunteer to write for the blog.
As you can see, there are plenty of resources out there for new pros members to use to network and further their careers. What are your favorite tools and benefits available to PRSA members? Share them with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MemberMonday.