Best Practices: Building Better Relationships with Your PRSA Sponsor Chapter

A group of Ohio Northern University PRSSA students after a Central Ohio PRSA luncheon this past year.

A group of Ohio Northern University PRSSA students after a Central Ohio PRSA luncheon this past year.

Networking is always a priority for PRSSA members as they seek guidance and work to grow as professionals, but it’s not always easy. Some members don’t feel comfortable reaching out to people and it’s not always easy finding a professional who has the time. Fortunately for PRSSA, we have the incredible opportunity to learn from the pros in our parent PRSA sponsor Chapters. PRSA members can serve many purposes if utilized properly.

Professional Mentors

Members from your regional PRSA sponsor Chapter can serve as great mentors. They have professional experience and are willing to offer advice to members who are eager to learn more about the public relations industry. PRSA members are always willing to share about the kind of work they do for their organization.

If students want a deeper look into the work the pros are doing, here in Central Ohio we have the opportunity to shadow a professional on Match Day. Through this program PRSSA students are matched with a PRSA professional in the Columbus area and have the opportunity to learn more about the culture of that professional’s specific company. Our Chapter at Ohio Northern University works closely with our Sponsor Chapter, Central Ohio PRSA, especially since our Professional Adviser, Todd Bailey, is an active member in Central Ohio PRSA. He frequently encourages us to take full advantage of the benefits of PRSSA, including the networking opportunities and chances for professional growth.

Speakers

PRSA members are a great resource when looking for speakers to invite to meetings. PRSA Chapters in your region are the perfect place to start the search and most public relations practitioners are willing to help you in any way they can. Members cover diverse sectors of public relations, and tend to share their experience and professional wisdom in unique ways. Maintaining a relationship with these members after they speak at your Chapter meeting will open doors to future opportunities.

Networking Opportunities

Our members stay connected with our sponsor Chapter through a liaison committee. This helps facilitate frequent networking opportunities, such as the Central Ohio PRSA monthly luncheons. By allowing us to participate in their Chapter events and professional development opportunities, these professionals encourage us to step outside of our comfort zone, network with the experts and learn something new.

Additionally, many of these professionals offer numerous internships to our students, help us coordinate our yearly firm visits and assist as sounding boards for our campaigns throughout the year. When we reach out, our PRSA sponsor Chapter embraces the opportunity to offer advice and continues to be generous with their time, energy and professional guidance. Networking will continue to be a top priority. Yet as challenging as networking sometimes can be, it is comforting to know with PRSSA you have professionals willing to help you grow and guide you through the growing field of public relations.

How does your Chapter stay connected with members from your PRSA sponsor Chapter?

Hannah Peterson is a senior public relations major, communication studies and social media minor at Ohio Northern University. She is currently serving her second term as Chapter president. Connect with Hannah on LinkedIn.

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