*this is a very straightforward post about why students should take advantage of PRSSA and other pre-professional organizations.
If you are in public relations or communications in general and you're not a member of PRSSA, you really are missing out and you have missed one of the biggest opportunities you will come across. The quote in the title was an actual quote said to my brother by a communication student. Full evaluation + explanation below.
I think it is always shocking when people do not want to be a member of the largest pre-professional organization in the world... and I think it's shocking when people do not want to join a professional organization to better themselves in general. You get out of this organization what you put into it.
Contrary to popular belief, PRSSA is not everything I am and I do a lot of other things and am a part of quite a few other things. That being said, PRSSA is a large part of me and the person I am today. If you are asked as a student ,"You're in public relations? Are you a member of PRSSA?" and your response is "No and I got a job just fine without PRSSA," there are a few things to be noted:
1. You absolutely can get a job without PRSSA. People do it every single day. 2. You do not have to be in PRSSA to get a job. 3. PRSSA better enables you to get a job, develop as a young professional and build a network.
PRSSA is an incredible Society with over 325 Chapters with well over 10,000 members! Heard of PRSA? Even BIGGER parent Society of PRSSA with over 32,000 professionals in the industry. Add that up and it's well over 42,000 people in these two incredible organizations. What a network I'm proud to have on my side and what a network I'm so proud to be a part of.
I cannot even begin to explain how many people I have had the incredible fortune to meet through PRSSA and all the wonderful opportunities I've had as a student developing into a young professional through PRSSA. The classmates closest to me, the professor closest to me and my closest friends around the US are all in PRSSA. I have no idea where I would be without this organization and those people. I know on a daily basis there are so many people I can call, text and email with any question and I will get some great responses and help.
Everyone needs a network and people in the industry. Networking is one of the TOP ways to get a job and to make connections.
Through attending three National Conferences (so far), a few Regional Conferences, a few PRSA events and conferences and two National Assemblies (so far), I have made invaluable connections, friends and *lasting* relationships. I have learned SO much to advance my professional career. I do not know of a whole lot of other opportunities that afford the same chances. There are other organizations out there like PRSA and PRSSA that I highly encourage others to join like the American Marketing Association and others.
I cannot tell you how many people ever since I joined PRSSA in August of 2009 have told me RIGHT before they graduated how much they wished they had joined PRSSA and how much they wished they had taken the opportunities I had through PRSSA. Everyone and anyone can be in the exact same position and can be as well networked and experienced as PRSSA members, you just have to take the time and actually join.
That quote just really struck me and shocked me. PRSSA is more than just an organization, it's an experience and it's a lifetime of memories, relationships and connections. I know I will be a member of PRSA for the rest of my life. I know I will continue to be a PRSSA advocate for the rest of my life.
Before you write off an entire organization and assume you will be fine without it, get to know the organization, the people in it and what it can do for you, or more importantly what YOU can do for it.
Learn more about PRSSA and its benefits.
Learn more about PRSA, its network and its benefits.