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Mentorship Benefits Our Whole Industry

A recent PRSA St. Louis event stated “the public relations industry needs mentors.” Based on the insights from the event’s respected panelists and personal experience, I would enthusiastically agree.

Mentorships, both formal and informal, can push us to reach our full potential as professional communicators. When we as a collective public relations field are working at our highest caliber, it raises the skill, innovation and perception of our industry as a whole.

The benefits of mentorship are a two-way street as one of the panelists noted. While its understood that the mentee will benefit from having a mentor to learn from and come to for advice. The mentor also can learn from the experience by broadening their perspective or gaining new skills from their mentee. In fact, companies like Target and UnitedHealth have even adopted “reverse mentoring” concepts to enable older generations in the workforce to learn from the technological savvy of their millennial colleagues.

I’m excited that PRSA St. Louis facilitates a mentor program to help PRSSA students, and the next generation of our industry, connect with our talented membership. This year, we will be expanding the program to also include Associate PRSA members (those with three or fewer years of experience).

This is an amazing opportunity for PRSA St. Louis members to give back to the public relations community in St. Louis and continue to advance our industry overall.

Andrea Gils, Marketing and Communications Manager at University of Kentucky's International Center, had the opportunity to be not only be a mentor, but also a mentee. When I asked her to think back to the ways her mentor was able to help her, all of this came to mind:

“I’ve been lucky to have benefitted from mentoring in various ways, both as a mentee and as a mentor. As a mentee, I found it (and still find it) extremely beneficial to have someone I could reach out to when I needed help with determining my life and career goals, career advice or an extra pair of eyes to go through my resume. Besides help with soft skills, my mentors have helped me in identifying which skills I should focus on developing given the current job market, what ethical situations I should avoid as a new professional, and so much more.”

To learn more or sign up to be a mentor, contact membershipdirector@prsastlouis.org.

This blog is courtesy of Andrea Shea, Manager at Standing Partnership. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Saint Louis University. She also serves as the Membership Director for PRSA St. Louis. 

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