Engage in PRSSA: 6 Ways to Participate in National Initiatives

PRSSA has developed National Initiatives we work toward as a Society. We are always moving forward as a Society and work to achieve more each year.

PRSSA National Committee and Headquarters staff at the 2011 National Conference.

Here’s a little background into six PRSSA National Initiatives that are available to members they might not be aware of. For the full list of National Initiatives, check the PRSSA website.

1. Apply for PRSSA Scholarships and Awards

Each year more than $20,000 is awarded to members and Chapters who exhibit outstanding public relations skills. Members sometimes forget about these special opportunities for Chapter members to receive recognition and funding for their education. There are many scholarship deadlinesapproaching this spring.

2. Contribute Original Content By Writing for FORUM, PRSSA Blog or Chapter News

Any PRSSA member or Chapter can submit content to be published by PRSSA National. These opportunities include feature articles for PRSSA’s tri-annual newspaper FORUM, blog posts and non-traditional format articles for the PRSSA Blog and press releases for PRSSA Chapter News.

3. Attend PRSSA National Events and Regional Conferences

PRSSA offers numerous events nationally and locally that connect members, build professional skills and expand networks. These events include National Assembly in March, Regional Conferences across the United States in the spring, Leadership Rally in June and National Conference in October.

4. Be An Ethical Professional

PRSSA promotes ethical practice by asking our members to adhere to the PRSSA Code of Ethics and to review the PRSA Code of Ethics. PRSSA also recognizes ethical leadership by requiring ethical practice and discussion through many of our scholarships and awards.

5. Experience Real-World Public Relations Work in a Student-run Firm

Working in a university student-run firm allows members to learn agency practices by interacting with real clients and real situations. If you do not have a firm, you can always start one at your university. Student-run firms looking for more credibility and experience can apply for National Affiliation. For questions on student-run firms, contact Vice President of Professional Development, Jessica Noonan.

6. Compete in National Competitions Like the Bateman Case Study

PRSSA offers several competitions each year, all of which provide you the opportunity to work with real clients. Through these competitions, members can apply public relations problem-solving skills, achieve recognition and compete with other students at the national level. The Bateman Case Study Competitionoffers the opportunity to create and implement a full public relations campaign each year.

How have you participated in PRSSA National Initiatives? What are your favorite ways to be active in PRSSA?

This is a guest post from FORUM Editor in Chief, Amy Bishop, and Vice President of Public Relations Lauren Gray.

This is courtesy of PRSSA National Blog.

5 Secret Strategies for Finding Your Perfect Job

In my experience, not ONE of the jobs I scored in my public relations career was a public listing or posting. This may be the case for you, as well. Here’s how you can find and even create your dream job beyond the want ads.

Lorra Brown, assistant professor at William Paterson University.

1. Seek People

Ask yourself where you really want to work and identify the person you would love to work for. Check out their blog, read their client releases, follow them on Twitter, Google them, research them on LinkedIn. I’m not telling you to be a stalker, just do your research. Armed with this information you can then write a short cover email (or Twitter comment) about something they’ve said, written or done. Indicate you would love to learn more about their work. Once you’ve started a dialogue, seize the opening by dropping a note about an idea or question you have. Finally, email your resume and your well-written cover letter explaining how you would be an asset to their organization.

2. Follow Industry News

Pay attention to the public relations, advertising and marketing trade publications. When you see a big client win for an agency, write a note of congratulations. Most likely the company or public relations firm will need to staff up to service this new client. Send in your compelling cover letter and resume showcasing how you will be the perfect addition to help serve this new client.

3. Read The Business Section of Your Local Newspaper

Every week, newspapers include new executive appointment announcements. Even now (and I’m not looking for a job), I drop a note of congratulations to new corporate communication and public relations executives I read about in the paper. Many have become guest speakers in my class and host sites for my students’ internships.  This can work for you, too. This also works if you read a newspaper article and see a quote from a company spokesperson. With the Internet or professional sites liked LinkedIn, these executives are easy to find.

4. Be Patient

Take the time to develop a relationship with professionals. Don’t just ask for a job. Instead work to show who you are — that you are insightful, intelligent and good at tracking and spotting trends.

5. Personalize Your Outreach

If you do reach out via LinkedIn, be sure to include a personal message like, “I read about your new client” or “I loved your quote in The New York Times.” Also include a short sentence about who you are and why they should care about your message.

With some creativity and initiative, you truly can find a job. Most of the best jobs do come from word of mouth and networking. Happy hunting!

What advice do you have for students seeking their dream job? How can they establish connections that will make a lasting impact?

Lorra Brown is an assistant professor of public relations/corporate and strategic communication at William Paterson University. She is also a former executive with Ogilvy Public Relations and Weber Shandwick. Brown blogs career advice and lists job openings on her website.

This is courtesy of PRSSA National Blog