Tag Archives: Professional Development

Never Underestimate the Power of a Professional Organization

Networking is just one of the benefits of being in a professional organization.

I remember a conversation I had with a mentor about two years ago. She had a connection with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for more than 15 years. What she said stuck in my head, “All of the jobs I’ve ever had, have come from IABC.”  I was already a member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), but I thought that it might not be a bad idea to check them out.

I’m glad I did.

 

 “College isn’t the only place to go for ideas.”

Helen Keller

Through my involvement with PRSA and IABC, I have attended a number of workshops and seminars. Most were low-cost or even free to members and provided continuing education in my field. Workshops helped me harness the power of 140 characters to get a message across; a panel of bloggers gave advice on how to pitch to them.

“In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn”
Phil Collins

Professional organizations also provide mentoring. Whether you are new in your career or a seasoned veteran, mentors can provide great insight. Being a new professional in the industry, I’ve been able to talk to someone who can walk me through tough situations, assure me that everyone is not perfect and give me invaluable advice. A mentor has been in my shoes and knows what it takes to make it. Someone who’s new in public relations can introduce ideas to seasoned veterans. They enjoy hearing new ideas that they could utilize in their own company.

My advice is to take advantage of these opportunities. The field of public relations is an industry that needs to keep up with technology and emerging trends. Being part of an organization that understands these trends is invaluable.

 “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
Francis Bacon

Often, agencies or businesses will post open positions exclusively on professional organizations’ websites before posting to others. This is just one more of many perks of membership.

I didn’t get my job at Franco on my own. I had a little help. No, it wasn’t divine intervention or luck.  It was because of my involvement with PRSA that I found the job posting on its website. Sure, my skills and background landed me the first interview. But I became aware of the opportunity because of my association with PRSA.

I’ve found tremendous value in professional organizations. I landed my dream job at my dream company all because of my involvement with PRSA and IABC.

Do you belong to a professional organization? What benefits have you found useful?

Andrea Kenski is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5092 or kenski@franco.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @detroitcitygrrl.