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Making the Transition: PRSSA to PRSA

To learn about public relations, interact with like-minded peers and professionals and gain leadership experience, I joined PRSSA while pursuing my undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa.

Leading my chapter’s student-run firm allowed me to gain hands-on experience in the field working with nonprofits in the area and organizations on campus. Then as chapter president, I was able to increase membership by marketing the organization to students in related majors, hosting speakers to teach students applicable skills (i.e. writing press releases and pitching to media) and coordinating agency tours to offer PRSSA members a glimpse into the public relations industry.

Yet when I graduated and started working, I no longer had PRSSA to connect me with area PR professionals or a setting to gain insight on industry trends. Thus a membership to PRSA made perfect sense upon graduation. PRSA allows me to continually enhance my skills and keeps me in tune with local and national PR news, including innovative campaigns at top agencies and companies across the U.S. It’s also an excellent way to market yourself and make connections if you’re applying for full-time positions.

For recent graduates who were PRSSA members, it’s only $60 to become a PRSA Associate Member, plus $55 to join the St. Louis Chapter. Joining as an Associate Member will also automatically enroll you in the New Professionals Section.

Membership gives you access to resources, such as:

  • More than 50 FREE webinars throughout the year
  • Public relations news, research and case studies in the daily Issues & Trends, the monthly Public Relations Tactics and the quarterly Public Relations Strategist
  • Career Assistance: National career reading room, classified job list, links to career resources and access to job openings
  • Discounts on PRSA conferences and events
  • Mentoring by the College of Fellows: Guidance from Accredited professionals with specific challenges or issues you face

As a St. Louis Chapter PRSA member you can get involved on a committee and help with anything from recruiting members and planning events to coordinating speakers and helping with social media. Since I’ve joined PRSA, I’ve been able to share my PR expertise as a young professional panelist at Pro-Am Day, join the St. Louis Chapter communications committee to write content and manage the blog, and meet leading public relations practitioners in the St. Louis region.

It’s important as a young professional to continually learn and offer new perspectives in the workplace. It’s also essential to grow your network and become familiar with resources that are available to you. So take advantage of joining PRSA and kick start your career after graduation.

This post is courtesy of Paul Spooner, PRSA St. Louis member. He is a PR Manager at Osborn Barr, an agricultural marketing and communications company with offices in St. Louis and Kansas City. Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. You can find him on Twitter @paul_spooner.

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