Transitioning Beyond Being a “New PR Professional”

The years I’ve spent on the New Professionals Section Executive Committee have been some of the most valuable to me as a budding PR pro fresh out of college. I find it hard to believe that more than five years have passed since I graduated and even harder to believe that I can no longer call myself a new professional.

“Fake it until you make it” has been my personal and professional motto for quite some time, but after experiencing quite a few PR agencies and finding a niche industry I really enjoy, I no longer feel like I’m faking it. I feel ready to move on from the “new professional” label and onto the next chapter.

What is that new chapter, though? Mid-level positions can feel like limbo – maybe you’re managing a few junior staffers at an agency and leading client accounts or acting as a one-person communications team in-house. You’re still absorbing knowledge from those above you, but you have enough expertise to coach and guide both team members and clients alike. Mid-level positions come in all different shapes and sizes, which often makes it difficult to arrange a formal group for folks passing the five-year mark in PRSA.

However, you are not alone as you transition out of the New Professionals Section. PRSA offers many other opportunities to stay involved:

  • If you’ve found a specialty within PR that you enjoy, consider joining another PRSA Section. Finding professionals with the same interests as you helps you exchange ideas and discuss current trends, with professional development opportunities directed specifically for your industry.
  • One of the biggest requests we get in the New Pros Section is the opportunity to connect on a local level. PRSA Chapters are an excellent way to network within the city you live or would like to live, recruit talent or find a new position and meet industry influencers in the area.
  • Free online training and professional development is one of the most valuable benefits of PRSA membership. If you aren’t taking advantage of the library of on-demand and live webinars/teleseminars on, you’re missing out. Browse the site when you have free time and you’ll discover a wealth of topics to dig into deeper and continue your personal growth.
  • If you have the chance, PRSA International Conference is the annual event to learn, network and grow in the PR profession. Sessions range from nitty-gritty tactics to bigger picture strategy advice for mid-level professionals who may straddle both sides of the practice. PRSA International Conference visits Atlanta this year and will surely be an event to remember!

Of course, don’t forget about your New Pros roots! Feel free to keep enjoying our monthly Twitter chats at #NPPRSA, blog posts here and conversations on Facebook and LinkedIn. All of us were new professionals at one point in our careers, and our members learn from your experiences and advice. Please continue to share it.

Are you passing the five-year mark and wondering how to stay involved? Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@hsliwinski) or LinkedIn. Wishing you the best of luck in the next stage of your career!


Heather Sliwinski

Immediate Past Chair, New Professionals Section