PRofound benefits

      51 Comments on PRofound benefits

Have you considered joining the Association for Astrological Networking? How about the World Association of Detectives? The International Association of Youth Hypnotists, perhaps? Or the American Association of Candy Technologists?

These organizations are real and draw their membership from very specific groups of professionals. They’re known as trade associations and each one of them share a similar mission: to bring professional development, educational and networking opportunities to people with similar careers and interests.

There’s tremendous value in belonging to such organizations and public relations practitioners are no exception. There are countless international, national and local PR associations providing a myriad of services and programs for their members. These groups provide connections to job opportunities and mentoring, and offer resources for professionals to keep up with changes in their industries. As PR people know, few industries are changing as quickly as public relations.

PRPLI_logo_cropped_wordsOf course, the largest trade organization for PR professionals is the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Its members number more than 22,000 public relations and communications professionals and more than 10,000 students through the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Although annual membership fees are a bit pricey (but much less for PRSSA members transitioning from college), the access its members have to information, advice and networking is invaluable.

As you seek the benefits of a PR trade group, you should also look locally. You can find dozens of such associations listed, for example, at Wherever you are there’s likely to be a PR or communication-related organization you can join, including the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI), a group with which I’ve been involved since 1990. The huge advantage to local organizations is they’re filled with people who work where you work and can connect you with nearby opportunities you’ll likely use. Through relationships I made with fellow PRPLI members I’ve gotten jobs, consulting work, enhanced my skills, and made lifelong friends.

Whether you’re a student graduating or a professional in search of connections, do yourself and your career a big favor — join a PR trade association. Will you? The benefits can be profound. Your thoughts?

More to come: Another important professional group: AEJMC’s PR Division


51 thoughts on “PRofound benefits

  1. Sharlys Leszczuk

    I think it is not only valuable to join PR trade organizations but also other trade organizations that you are interested in. For example, I am interested in social awareness and non-profit work, so I feel it would be beneficial for me to join a trade organization that corresponds with that as well. Sometimes success can be found in the places you least suspect it. I plan on becoming a part of a PR trade organization after graduation, but I also look into networks of individuals that I would be interested in working for.

  2. Sabrina Cwenar

    There are certainly many benefits of joining PRSSA. Now that I am graduating I wish I had taken advantage of joining Hofstra’s chapter because I see the many opportunities that were available to PR students.

  3. shollwedel

    I’ve found myself to be a part of several communities through the years. While they aren’t on the same level as trade associations, they’ve been places where I’ve made connections and have had opportunities for business as well as personal growth. As I am already personally aware of the benefits of joining such a group, taking this step in the PR field is sure to be the next step for me to help facilitate my professional growth.

  4. Vanessa Major

    I do agree that being apart of a trade is a great tool to improve individual growth and knowledge. IIt is quite rewarding to be able to network and have great opportunities available.

  5. capriceoliver

    I think it is very important to join professional groups related to your field. Networking can be very beneficial to your career, I definitely plan on being apart of PRSSA and other PR groups. I have recently updated my linked in and joined many PR profiles online.

  6. Carolyn Leonardo

    I think being involved in any group is beneficial to having connections with many people in different areas. Networking is one of the best ways for companies to find you and interview you. Being able to have your resume out in the world for companies to see such as on LinkedIn has many benefits, it’s almost like finding work through word of mouth but online.

  7. Andrea Vega

    Approaching my senior year, I am now faced with so many decisions on my next steps into professional life. I feel it is so easy for students to experience fear as they approach and pass graduation and then hesitate to move forward because they feel intimidated. What most of us fail to realize is that by joining a trade organization, which may feel overwhelming at first, will make our transition into our careers immensely smoother.

  8. Pamela Lacayo

    I am proud to be a part of PRSSA. I am receiving emails with a ton of resources from PRSA which I know that I can use once I graduate and start working in the PR field. Joining an organization can reap great benefits but the problem I would have from the beginning is the up-front cost. Especially when I have no current income. But later on the line, there are several organizations that I am considering joining such as PRLI.

  9. Nathalie

    As a graduating senior, I cannot agree more with your views on professional organizations. I have been a part of Hofstra’s PRSSA since my sophomore year (when I first declared my PR major) and it has brought me tremendous opportunities since. I have attended workshops and conferences that have built my knowledge about the profession, plus attended events such as networking dinners and galas that have helped me build my professional network. I am looking forward to joining PRSA this year after graduating and I only expect to receive the same (and even better) opportunities as an official professional.

  10. zhenpanda

    As people age and get out of school, friends become harder and harder to make. Masks and preconceived notions such as “cliques” will peel off as one realizes how alike one is to everyone and how desperately one needs connections in life.

  11. A.Murphy

    I strongly believe that organizations like PRSSA and its mother organization PRSA are valuable to professionals at any level. There are many opportunities to learn from each other, share ideas, brainstorm and develop projects further, and to network. It is this last part that is especially helpful for professionals that are newer to the field.
    Overall, if the organization proves to be organized, well thought out, and engaging, I will be more inclined to join and actively participate.
    What I have noticed though is that networking opportunities can come from anywhere as long as you speak up, smile, and be willing to share and listen to the people around you.

  12. Erin Schmitt

    I’m so happy to be a part of PRSSA and I definitely agree that it is invaluable to be involved in trade associations of its kind. The nature of the business these days, especially within the PR, media and journalism fields, is simply networking and forming strong connections with a web of people. Being associated with an organization provides you with a solid chain of people to reach out to if and when needed. There is such an immense world of professionals in the industry particularly in the New York area that it is extremely beneficial to become a part of organizations like PRPLI.

  13. Katie Hammer

    In public relations, networking is the biggest tool you have, and what better way to network than to join an organization? After I graduate I plan on joining PRSA and look to my local community for other organizations. I agree that they are very beneficial, whether it be to help you perfect your career path or network with other professionals. Either way, joining an organization can only benefit you. I am going to take advantage of these opportunities, because you can never network too much.

  14. daniellehkent

    I know the power of networking because almost every professional connection I’ve made has been a result of building working relationships. I’ve been a PRSSA member in the past and I can see how it can play a huge role in finding a job and teaching young PR professionals tips to navigate the field.

  15. Danielle Tana

    Since I am a Public Relations major and will be entering the professional world soon after I graduate, I do believe that joining PRSA will be very beneficial. I attended one of Hofstra’s PRSSA meetings and I was overwhelmed with how sweet and knowledgeable the people on the board were. Connections are essential. Joining a trade organization will most definitely help you make those connections.

  16. gmorah

    I’m on the same page on the benefit of joining any such organization.

    For students, joining the organization is an avenue of establishing network that will attract job opportunities after graduation.

    Also, students are likely to earn extra credits as well as scholarship for joining.

  17. azachar1

    There are tremendous benefits from joining professional groups. I have found that being a member of the PRSSA at Hofstra this year has had so many wonderful outcomes. Organizations like the PRSSA provide you with the tools you’ll need to be the best in the industry. So far this year I have learned about the power of networking and have learned some great tools for pitching to the media.

  18. SShak

    I’m a profound believer in that it’s not only what you know, but also WHO you know. I think it is important as young professionals to involve ourselves in organizations that will help us advance and connect with colleagues that will help promote us in the future.

  19. John Grillea

    Agreed completely. It’s important to join an organization within your industry as it allows you to network, gain connections, and stay in the loop. This goes for any industry and not just ours. These organizations can open a window of opportunities for individuals!

  20. Nikita Hakels

    These organizations are an opportunity not only for job hunt but to gain knowledge and practical experioence. They also help you socialize and meet new peopl from the industry, after all PR is about networking.

  21. Vanessa Major

    I do agree that joining an association related to your field of choice is important. Especially for college students graduating and beginning the transition from school into the workforce in the area of their choice. Having the connections and information available to you through these associations can catapult your careers to unimaginable heights.

  22. xuhansite

    Yes, I agree with you. These organizations can bring jobs, friends and knowledge to me as a PR student. I always believe that a professional PR organization is a place to provide the chance of training and relearning, after I graduate. I regret that I missed the conference of PRSSA and I did not join the organization. This is really a big loss for myself.

  23. Lysa Carre

    This blog post is informative and inspiring. I think it’d be a great idea to join a PR trade association. I have obtained job experience as a paralegal for five years now. In addition, I was recently invited to be a part of the national honor society. Although I am currently building my resume for law school applications, I’d like to experience working in public relations during my last year of graduate studies before beginning law school. The PRSSA regional conference held at Hofstra recently was a phenomenal networking opportunity for students like myself who are just beginning to branch into the PR field. Therefore, being apart of a PR trade association would allow me to expand my skill set for my future career as an aspiring entertainment attorney. The advice provided in this blog is great food for thought. Associations such as PRPLI enable networking to be more attainable and valuable for up and coming professionals. I think these organizations can make one’s resume much more appealing to potential employers and also for academic admissions of higher education.

  24. taylorpirone20

    I agree that there are benefits to joining. As an undergraduate student, I studied Sociology, so I did not learn about the trade groups until I started my graduate program. I have yet to join, however, I intend on joining before the next fall semester. The networking opportunities that trade groups provide are incredible.

  25. Brianna Vallelong

    Networking in communications just like any other profession is extremely important. I think the issue with most people is that they are unaware of the actual benefits of belonging to such organizations. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a member or a Trade Organization. It can only benefit you to communicate with other professionals in your line of work. Not only is it a constant learning and building experience, but one may also be presenting with a new job opportunity.

  26. amywangsite

    I think it is truly useful to join any PR association. We all know how important the network is. It offers you a chance to meet people from different industries and a platform for you to be found and connected with others. In the career path, everyone starts from the scratch. Most of us do not have much network or background before we step into the society. Joining an association is one of the easiest way for you to connect with professionals, get to know what is happening in the PR industry, and pick up more knowledge and skills for yourself. Instead of joining PRSSA, I actually skipped it and joined PRSA. It gave me more opportunity to explore the real PR world. I may not fully understand the market trend they are talking about, however, I am willing to learn. Hence, I encourage all my other classmates to find a way which you feel the most comfortable with to connect to people outside of school. You will be surprised how strangers could help you in unexpected ways.

  27. Shawna Gregson

    I believe that all these organizations are a tremendous help to professionals all around the world. A good part of receiving any type of job is the networking that goes into finding it. People need other colleagues to guide and mentor them; and with organizations like these the ability to get in contact with potential mentors has greatly increased. I do think that sometimes people don’t take full advantage of the resources that these organizations can grant them, but the fact that these resources are there can make the journey of finding a job seem a little less daunting.

  28. syanok

    As a PRSSA member I think it is important for students and professionals to join industry specific groups and be as active as they can. Joining a PR trade group offers invaluable networking experience and helps you grow as a professional

  29. Judea Hartley

    After attending the regional conference on March 19, I really think that it would be a good idea to join PRSSA. Throughout my graduate school journey, I am realizing how important it is to network and connect with others who are in trade associations and other PR groups. Being apart of an organization that is affiliated with one’s career can really enhance their skill set and it serves as a direct opportunity to build long lasting relationships. A couple of years down the line, I could possibly be looking for an internship or a position at a reputable PR firm. My relationship as a PRSSA member could possibly provide a career opportunity for me. I really think that the most important thing to do when pursuing a career or furthering education is to work hard, explore, go beyond the comfort zone, network, and build relationships. We as graduate students have to make ourselves accessible to other professionals in our field. The networking, the hard work, and the credentials acquired will all pay off.

  30. Kate ricciardi

    I agree that connections are the key to success. I am so glad that I am part of SPJ where I can make good connections that could lead to internships and jobs. Connections are also good to have one you are in the field to get a story or get a good insider for your client. It helps to know people in various fields.

  31. pollakvictoria

    Especially in today’s day and age connections are everything. Some of the best jobs today are received through connections, along with hard work of course. It depends on who you know and the experiences on your resume. It’s very essential to be apart of a group or organization. Also because of what i mentioned above, it looks professional and cleaner to have something like this on your resume. It also aids for interviewing skills. The amount of people you talk to helps with the connections you make. Belonging to an organization is highly important and this article should motivate my fellow peers to want to belong to one, as it motivated myself.

  32. mmolin9

    I think it’s dry important to be a part of organizations. It gives you a connection to other professionals that you may not have had without them.

  33. Kyle Kandetzki

    As a journalism major I’m involved with the Society of Professional Journalists. For any job, especially ones in the field of media, having a group that offers so many different connections and amounts of knowledge is such a benefit, especially for college students. These groups not only provide these connections, but also the know-how to become the best you can be at what you do, and the inner workings of the business that younger members may not have seen yet.

  34. Briana C

    Joining organizations such as these are indeed greatly beneficial to everyone. You gain connections you might never have otherwise and also help them gain other connections through you. You may also gain peers who can give their opinions if you needed it. However, for those who aren’t sure whether they want to stick to the field or not, I think it’s something to hold off on. Joining this organization is beneficial, but what if you change your career in the future? For me, I’d wait until I’m absolutely sure I’m going to stay in this field forever before committing to an organization.

  35. Saralynn Kupperberg

    I agree that there are so many profound benefits to belonging to professional organization. I have experienced many of these benefits first-hand during the few short years that I have been a part of PRSSA. These benefits include: networking opportunities, professional publications, professional development opportunities, a job and internship bank, and leadership opportunities. During my time at Hofstra, I have been an advocate for students to join the professional organization of PRSSA, because it is never too early to develop as a professional, and broaden your horizons within the industry. As I come closer to graduation, I am excited to transition from being a PRSSA member to become a PRSA member, and experience all of the benefits that the new organization brings. Additionally, in the future I would like to start my career in the New York metropolitan area, and joining PRPLI seems like a great organization to be a part of, with many professional development opportunities.

  36. Jillian Berardi

    There are many benefits in being involved with a trade organization. Establishing connections with other professionals is essential in any field. The resources available to you can help boost your career in the right direction. I have been thinking about joining an organization like PRSSA, however, it didn’t occur to me to seek out smaller, local organizations, like PRPLI. It’s something I will definitely look into.

  37. Elaine

    Of course yes. It is benefit to ourselves when we join the different organizations. Because, as a PR person, the relationship is an important factor in our industry. We can know a lot professionals and related people if we join the group. May be someday they will help you. Also, joining the group, we can obtain the latest news and information of our industry. We can not only learn a lot from the professionals, we also have more chances to get a job.

  38. Lauren A.

    PR students and professionals know that networking is the key to a successful career. Joining a PR association is just one way to do that. I am a member of the Hofstra chapter of PRSSA and it has already helped me so much with networking and exploring the world of PR. I have talked to so many professionals and students who have given me helpful tips about resumes, interviews, internships, and careers in PR. There are so many opportunities for students and it is hard to know where to get started, but joining an organization like PRSSA is a great start to getting on the right path.

  39. Bahati Louis

    I’ve always thought about joining an organization for professionals but I’ve always been thinking about it on a large scale basis. It has never occurred to me that I could be joining clubs/organizations that aren’t as prevalent and I can work my way up to something more. I do think now I should look into things on campus and start networking on a smaller scale which would be easier for me to do than joining something bigger.

  40. kristinaweller

    Connections are so incredibly important no matter which field you are involved in. Networking with people who share similar interests can open so many doors and bring about opportunities to help each other. Joining an organization or network of people who are in the same field or share the same career goals can be extremely beneficial and introduce you to people who have the power to become employers, coworkers, or simply friends.

  41. ari okonofua

    Local and trade associations are vital for PR. Being a part of a smaller or more targeted PR association can give its members visibility and focus on them as opposed to larger organizations.

  42. Lauren Denker

    I agree with the fact that PR is all about connections. It is important to always stay in touch with people and connect with them in order to benefit yourself in the upcoming future. A lot of people don’t feel like they want to use others to help them get ahead in their career, but connections are the best way to succeed. I am a member of PRSSA and I think that is another great networking opportunity.

  43. Rachelg

    I think it is extremely important to meet and network with professionals. You gain so much information just by talking to these people, that could really help you professionally. Especially in a profession such as public relations where you are pretty much on your own, if not now, sometime within your professional career.

  44. Emily Weeks

    Growing a network is definitely an important part of PR and a major key to success. Joining a local PR network will help you relate to people on a scale that is relevant to your local environment.

  45. Tyler Weatherly

    Although a national association can be helpful, I can defiantly see the advantages of joining local associations. Connections and networking can be helpful in most industries but it’s especially tru for PR.

  46. Tiffany Vellis

    I absolutely agree. Whether it be journalism, PR, television, radio or film, communications connections are essential when looking for a career post-graduation. They’re even significant as one looks to move forward in their career and potentially improve their position or pay within a company. Websites and trade organizations such as those you’ve listed above provided incredible opportunity to network and create genuine connections with co-workers and potential employers in order to set oneself up for their best suited future career.

  47. kn3vil

    While a large, general association is always a good route for seeking opportunities, I can understand why someone would be looking for a more specific type of area within that industry to work for. I run my own networking group on Facebook for Hofstra students. This group allows any student who wants to advertise a show or performance of some sort, or a filmmaker who needs actors or crew, to post on the group and get responses from students who are interested. I feel this benefits students all over the campus, but there are other Facebook groups that are specified in only being you used for casting and crew calls for films, which is understandable.

  48. pjze618

    I fully agree. Connections and networking are the best way to get into the business. Networking also allows you to get advice from people who have been in your career for many years and have helpful tips to do well

  49. laurenconway97

    I completely agree. It is all about connections. You truly never know who you can make connections with and who can help jump start your career. When people know you already and know that you are a hard worker, they are likely to hire you over a complete stranger. Knowing how the business works is key to a successful career.

  50. Emily Racanelli

    It’s true that networking is the key to success. As is evident in this blog post, even the most niche markets form platforms for networking. You could have the highest level of education and still lose a job to someone who has built relationships with people who have power in their particular field.
    When it comes to PR, it seems that there are several options. Personally, I was only aware of the PRSA, given this is the one that is pushed so frequently through Hofstra. I would assume that for a fair amount of college students, this isn’t feasible at the moment. While the benefits are extensive, price is a major factor when you’re making minimum wage and drowning in debt.
    However, at some point it is a good idea to join one of these organizations and now I see that there are several options. This has me motivated to get a head start and begin looking for organizations outside of my local area, given I plan to leave Long Island after college. When relocating, it would definitely help to have some connections in my new area and even have a lead on a job.
    What this proves is that communication is vital for success. Whether we’d care to admit it or not, we all need a lit help breaking into our desired field. The best way to do this is put your best foot forward and get your name out there. You never know who might be helpful down the line.


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