Professional associations provide the opportunity for networking and finding common interest for individuals within the same industry. In other words, it is the membership to the professional community.

Public Relations Society of America is the national organization where PR practitioners are connected throughout the country to become involved within the community. At the student and professional level, PR individuals may join and participate in local chapters and events.

The official website of PRSA provides reasons to attract potential members:

“If you want to make contacts, be recognized for your work, enhance your professional skills, stay on top of emerging trends and otherwise accelerate your PR career, PRSA is the organization.”

Many colleges and universities provide school chapters to allow students the chance to network with working professionals and understand what the PR field is. PRSA opens the door into a professional community across the country with “more than 22,000 PR pros and communications professionals committed to excellence and ethics.”

Another membership perk is the access to discounted prices for networking and conference events, training opportunities and a career board where organizations seek to hire from within the community.

Jumpstart your PR career and join today! For more information or interest in PRSA, find the nearest chapter in your community at:


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines public relations as:

“The business of including the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm or institution”

The objective of public relations is to represent and distribute an organization or individual’s information to the public. Provided by PR firms, these representations allow public exposure to those with similar interests and build a reputation for ethical and moral integrity within the industry for the PR firm distributing the information.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) asserts that the expectations of “protecting integrity and the public trust are fundamental to the profession’s role and reputation. Bottom line, successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners.”

What makes any person ethical? How do we learn what’s right and wrong?

Ethics are moral principles that develop and shape human behavior. A PR practitioner is an individual or group of individuals who share or push aside their beliefs and values to positively represent their client. The relationship between Ethics and Public Relations depends on honesty and accuracy of information. Actions today can affect the opinions of public interests in the future.

PRSA states that the Code of Ethics expects “members to pledge to core values, principles and practice guidelines that define their professionalism and advance their success. Code guidelines, like tactics supporting strategies, zero in on putting value and principles into working professionals facing everyday tasks and challenges.”

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“Why does anyone need to be on LinkedIn?” Everyone should be! LinkedIn is the social media platform for individuals seeking to establish connections, manage their professional identity and gain access to qualified opportunities.

The Webster Dictionary defines networking as a “supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.”

If you have any social media account, this is the one every professional in the work force should be using. Whether starting out or established in your career, the art of networking is emphasized as the necessary skill for recognizing and acknowledging other professionals.

Nearly all job openings are posted by employers looking for qualified candidates to fill the positions. The individual who does not have a LinkedIn loses out on the opportunity. Students are encouraged to create a LinkedIn account because the connections made during school can lead to employment opportunities after graduation.

Unfortunately, today’s job market is sometimes more about who you know than what you know. Relationships formed through networking require time and effort “before you actually need it in order to create your ‘bank of goodwill.’”

According to Kim Harrison of Cutting Edge PR, employees at all levels have “found that being good at their job isn’t enough to get noticed and valued. They need to promote themselves for best results.” A profile is the online resume that includes portfolio work, volunteer experience and group associations. The professional headshot adds the personal touch, connecting a face with the name.

I started using LinkedIn two years ago and have experienced the value of online networking: meeting people, finding opportunities and building my professional identity. Without fear of meeting new people, I have been successful in creating a professional network after graduation.

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After our alarm goes off and before getting ready for work, it is safe to say that almost all of my generation checks our social media for the latest news updates and gossip. Nowadays, it’s practically impossible not to be connected to and consumed with social media. We follow certain news outlets, celebrities, sporting teams and companies that interest us. Knowing what’s happening moment by moment has become part of our daily routine.

Liz Borick of PR News acknowledges how the social media managers’ position has grown in importance due to constant societal demand for instant information, with organizations’ responsibilities to shape project their organization’s presence. There are 10 rules for managers to be successful in the ever-evolving social world to ensure social media success:

1) Timely activism in the industry

In other words, be the first to attract millions of followers to your updated source. Being first to break the news can allow you to be closely associated with the story and to be a reliable source

2) An eye for strategic and aesthetic photography

With color and texture to attract their attention, people process the meaning and information provided by visuals faster than decoding text

3) Good customer-services skills

Understanding who/where your audience is and what makes them “tick” keeps them coming back

4) A reliable mobile device

Making sure that your content is accessible at all times in every possible way, no matter where the consumer is

5) Social listening tools

Keeping an open eye for what your competitors are doing can determine whether you decide to participate, because “following the crowd” may not always be in your own interest.

6) Good judgment

Having the common sense about whether the content is appropriate and understanding your audience’s culture and views.

7) A second set of eyes

Other social media experts can help find avoidable mistakes and mishaps regarding your content before posting false and irrelevant information

8) An understanding of platform diversity

Awareness of the type of information necessary for the particular social medium. Would it be shared through Facebook or talked about through dialogue on Twitter?

9) Event aids

To promote an organization’s current activity and whereabouts to attract participants if they are available to attend, both in-person or online.

10) Authenticity

Focus on what makes your organization unique and different from competitors. Why should a consumer choose to follow what you post and trust your content?