One of the cool parts of my job as National President is my responsibility to work with PRSA. In June, I attended the PRSA Leadership Rally on behalf of PRSSA. Connecting with PRSA leaders from around the country made me realize that PRSA Chapter leaders share many of the same challenges and goals as PRSSA Chapter leaders. Among the most apparent challenges we share are membership recruitment, engagement and programming participation. It was more evidence that our two organizations are one large community.
When collaborating with PRSA, it’s important to remember they have members to serve too. Of course, PRSA supports our organization and goals, but collaboration efforts should be mutually beneficial. Below are tips to help you establish mutually beneficial relationships with PRSA.
Successful Student Outreach
- Find a PRSA leader to serve as the main contact for this effort.
- Create a committee, preferably of new pros, to work with and engage students.
- Secure board support and buy-in for student outreach activities.
- Work with local educators to establish relationships.
- Offer mini-internships.
- Invite students to events.
- Create student-focused programs.
- Present classroom lectures.
- Set up field trips.
Benefits for PRSA
- Increased number of students interacting with professionals.
- Increased Chapter member participation in mentoring and networking.
- Increased distribution of membership information for local Chapter.
- Implementation of student-focused events
- Structure established for long-term mentoring.
- Opportunities for members to scout and recruit new employees and interns.
- Build a loyalty to the Chapter among students who will then be more engaged as Chapter members and leaders.
Working With PRSSA Members
During the Rally, I was particularly interested in how PRSA leaders view PRSSA. Overall, most PRSA Chapter Presidents were pleased with PRSSA and the relationship they have with the students. However, encouraging students to apply for scholarships is surprisingly difficult, and it’s even harder to get students to attend Chapter luncheons or breakfast events.
As PRSSA leaders, this is a membership benefit often overlooked, but it is important to take advantage of the networking and professional development opportunities PRSA provides. When offered spots for a PRSA lunch or seminar, reward your most active PRSSA members with this opportunity. You might also want to consider highlighting these people through your Chapter newsletter or blog.
Get Creative With Best Practices
As all advice goes, sometimes you have to get creative to build a better relationship with local PRSA professionals. Be sure that both sides can benefit from the partnership. Also, don’t be afraid to try a new event or seminar. The public relations community is large and we can all learn from each other.
How do you collaborate with PRSA? Can you share some of your best practices?
This is a guest post from National President, Nick Lucido.