Here’s a thought: You’ve completed college, you currently have a PR position or are looking for one and you’re looking for something more. Getting involved in trade associations can not only jumpstart your networking, but it could also supply you with skills and knowledge you might not otherwise receive.
I personally started looking for groups and events to attend before I graduated to get a better understanding of the professional network I would become a part of in Boston, since it tends to be a little different in every city. Every individual usually has different reasons for joining, but most associations are flexible and can help you find what you are looking for. When I first started participating and going to sessions, my focus was on networking and taking in as much information on every kind of PR that exists. Now that I am a few years into my career I’m looking more at attending events that can supplement the technology work I do on a daily basis and am helping others to begin building their networks.
Depending on the level of involvement you are looking for, here are a few options you can consider:
LinkedIn does what?
LinkedIn can be your best friend. If you’re not ready to jump into industry events the groups that have been created on LinkedIn can be a great starting point. Discussion topics are usually posted every week and anytime you have a question it is almost guaranteed someone will have the answer. Once you chat with someone a few times virtually they might also become great connections for you. Some great groups both regional and national include #PRIntern/#EntryPR, Boston PR Professionals, BtoB Tech PR, Greater Boston Networking, National Black Public Relations Society, Inc., PR Daily, PR News Group, PR Professionals, PRSA Boston, PRSA New Professionals Section, PRSSA, Public Relations Specialists, Publicity Club of New England, Women in Public Relations and Young PR Pros.
You mean I can have fun AND be professional at the same time?
The two societies I am proud to be associated with and would suggest all PR folk check out are the Public Relations Society of America Boston Chapter and the Publicity Club of New England. Both provide programming all year round that is relevant to every PR pro at every stage in their career. You don’t have to initially be a member to get involved so feel free to try a few events before you make the decision to invest in an association. Once you do, the benefits are endless (and you save a little money too). Want to dig even deeper into what these associations offer? There are even more events geared towards young professionals. This is also a great way to find yourself a mentor and maybe even a lifelong friend.
Ready to jump in?
Hope to see you at an event soon!
Did I miss an association? Have any questions about getting started? Tweet me @Sofia_Kathryn.