[Photo: PRSSA 2014-2015 National Committee]
I recently finished my term as the PRSSA 2013-2014 National vice president of member services. For those who are unfamiliar with PRSSA National Committee responsibilities, this position is primarily responsible for promoting the Society’s membership benefits. I know these benefits by heart. There are 15.
What this list of benefits won’t tell you is that PRSSA membership benefits extend beyond this list, with numerous “intangible” benefits. While the perceived intangible value may differ from member-to-member, this value is a major part of what keeps our Society thriving and our members engaged.
During my four years of PRSSA membership, the following are the most prominent intangible values I’ve discovered:
Lifelong friends and mentors
It’s a unique experience when you find meaningful friendships in your profession. By attending national PRSSA events, I have connected with students from across that U.S. Many of these connections have become some of my best friends. Who can better understand your social media obsessions, love of Starbucks and the hours you pour into PRSSA leadership than your fellow members?
Not only am I proud to call people I have met in PRSSA my friends; I am also proud to call some of them my mentors. Past Presidents Brian Price and Lauren Gray are two professionals I frequently turn to for advice. With 11,570 members, you are guaranteed to find a peer mentor who can offer sound career advice and help you transition from student to professional. And maybe, you’ll even become a mentor yourself.
Step into a room with hundreds of public relations students or follow a few on social media, and your desire to work harder and smarter will increase. When I see what my fellow members have accomplished or observe how poised they are during networking events, it inspires me to improve.
By engaging with members from different Chapters, you will soon find yourself creating a long list of ideas to implement in your own. This year’s PRSSA Leadership Rally was bursting with ideas that were shared among Chapter leaders.
Constantly being in-the-know
I’ll be the first to admit I am not very hip with technology. Luckily, I have my PRSSA friends to keep me current in the latest apps and new technological developments. I have picked up countless tips and tools I never would have known about if not for my PRSSA connections.
While I have found a great deal of benefit from PRSSA, it’s not the tangible benefits that keep me motivated as I strive to enhance our Society. It’s the intangible value I’ve discovered. The tangible value is what prepares you to enter the workforce a step ahead of the competition. The intangible value is what fuels your passion for the profession and keeps you utilizing the tangible benefits.
It’s going to be crazy year full of meetings, long hours and travels. But most importantly, this year will be full of friendships, mentorship and inspiration. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Current and former PRSSA members, share the intangible value you’ve found in PRSSA. I’d love to hear from you! | Unfamiliar with PRSSA or not a member? Find out how to join here.