While PRSA aims to make us smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of our careers, that’s not going to happen if we sit idly by. As 2018 comes to a close, I just renewed my PRSA membership for 2019 and have taken stock of some of PRSA’s member benefits I personally took advantage of this year:
- Chapter luncheons: In addition to speaking on cybersecurity communications at the January Hoosier chapter luncheon, I attended chapter luncheons covering crisis communications, PR on a budget and PR in politics. No matter the topic, I always take away nuggets of information at these luncheons.
- DID YOU KNOW? Hoosier chapter luncheons take place on the second Wednesday of every odd-numbered month (January, March, etc.). Mark your calendars!
- Networking: The year was full of networking opportunities! In addition to networking at national conferences and chapter luncheons, I mingled with pros and students at the Hoosier chapter’s PRSA/PRSSA speed networking event. And just this month, an out-of-state acquaintance I met at a PRSA conference years ago introduced me to someone in Virginia who wanted to meet more corporate communications professionals, and we had a great phone conversation and shared resources with each other. I love meeting new people through PRSA!
- DID YOU KNOW? The Hoosier chapter schedules numerous networking events throughout the year, including after-work happy hours and professional development events at various locations. These typically take place in the non-luncheon months.
- Webinars: My colleagues and I learned “The Top 10 Reasons Why Intranets Fail” from a webinar sponsored by the PRSA Employee Communications section. I also invited colleagues to join me for the “Building Effective Crisis Response Strategies in an Omni-Channel Age” webinar. My summer interns and I picked up writing tips from the “Supercharge Your PR Writing for Better Results” webinar. I also listened to the “Fast Forward: The Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE) Report on Undergraduate Education” webinar.
- DID YOU KNOW? PRSA webinars are free for members. And if you can’t catch a webinar live, you can listen on-demand. Check out the archives online.
- Publications: I kept up with the latest headlines impacting our industry in the daily Issues & Trends e-newsletter and shared relevant information with colleagues. The monthly Strategies & Tactics newspaper contained helpful how-to articles, profiles and case studies.
- DID YOU KNOW? You can sign up for PRSA SmartBrief for a daily snapshot of PR news from numerous leading sources.
- Conferences: I attended my first PRSA Employee Communications conference. While I go to the PRSA International Conference nearly every year, and I have attended several PRSA Health Academy conferences, this was my first conference experience focusing solely on internal communications, an often-overlooked area.
- DID YOU KNOW? PRSA offers numerous conferences throughout the year, sometimes within driving distance from Indiana.
- myPRSA Communities: Every morning around 6 a.m., my in-box populates with a roundup of the latest discussions in the myPRSA Communities I follow. The Open Forum, Corporate Communications and Employee Communications communities have given me ideas, resources, sample materials and more. PRSA members are generous with their information sharing and helping other members!
- DID YOU KNOW? myPRSA hosts more than 20 communities, with Open Forum being the most active. You can join a community relevant to your work, follow conversations, post questions, answer questions and more.
What PRSA member benefits did you take advantage of this year?
Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Chair of the PRSA National Membership Committee, serves on the Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE) Steering Committee and is Professional Adviser to the Purdue University PRSSA Chapter. A past President of the PRSA Hoosier Chapter, she has served on the PRSA National Board of Directors, PRSA Health Academy Executive Committee and as the PRSSA National Professional Adviser. Sonja works in Global Employee Communications at Eli Lilly and Company.