PRSSA to PRSA Transition [Leadership Rally Recap]

Courtesy of Skye Clayton, Dixie State University

Congratulations! You’ve graduated from college but sadly, that also means you’ve graduated from PRSSA. You can’t help but think to yourself, what next? At the 2018 Leadership Rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, PRSSA National Faculty Adviser, Alisa Agozzino and PRSA Board Liaison, Michelle Olson discussed the structure of PRSSA and how to make a seamless and beneficial transition to PRSA.

Dr. Agozzino began the session by explaining the structure of PRSSA and how students can get involved. PRSSA is headquartered in New York City and provides assistance to the National Committee, Regional Ambassadors and Chapter Leadership.

Getting involved with PRSSA is what makes each individual’s experience unique. Dr. Agozzino emphasized building a strong network with local peers through other PRSSA Chapters and connecting with your PRSA sponsor Chapter. Members have the opportunity to travel to National and Regional Conferences where they can learn and network with professionals and other public relations students from around the world. There are many different ways to get involved such as writing for the national blog, Progressions, or newspaper, FORUM, or connecting with a professional through the Champions for PRSSA. For more information on creating successful transitions for chapter executive boards and more, the PRSSA website can be a great resource.

After discussing how to be successful in PRSSA, Michelle Olson took the reigns on what PRSA is and why it’s the next step in our careers. She said, “Your career with PRSA is way better than a career without it.”

PRSA is the nation’s largest professional organization serving public relations and communications professionals. As a member of PRSSA, recent graduates have the option to join PRSA for only $60. This is an excellent opportunity for new professionals, as the average membership fee is anywhere between $115 and $260 depending on years of experience.

PRSA has over 21,000 members in 100 Chapters throughout ten districts with 13 special sections. These special sections allow professionals in the same specialties to create a community that focuses on their expertise. A few examples of these sections include nonprofit, corporate communications, financial communications and public affairs and government.

Olson also explained how PRSA is a LEARNING organization. L for learning, E for ethics, A for advocacy, R for retooling, N for networking, I for inclusion, N for new ideas and G for growth. These keywords can help students gain a better grasp of what PRSA stands for and how that translates into the profession.

The last key point in the session was the benefits of joining PRSA or the “what’s in it for me?” section. As a member of PRSA, new professionals will have the opportunity to develop a relationship with a mentor, grow as a professional through workshops, conferences and more, create valuable connections in their communities, earn their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and create lifelong friends.

For more information on joining PRSA post-graduation, visit https://www.prsa.org/membership/. You can also reach out to the PRSSA National Committee or your PRSA parent chapter for advice.

Jordan McCrary is a senior public relations student at the University of Florida. She is the president of UF PRSSA, a public relations intern at Universal Parks and Resorts and a communications assistant for the Institute for Public Relations.

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