The field of PR is one that changes constantly to adapt to new communication channels, public preferences, and market conditions. While some of the core principles of PR will never change, the mechanics and technology have changed drastically in the last few years. That’s why it is necessary for PR professionals to be plugged in to the rest of the community.
If you don’t pay close attention to what is going on, your skills will quickly become dated and less valuable. Fortunately, there are many online communities you can join that make it easy to network with peers, keep up with new ideas, and join the conversation about where the industry should go. Here are a few of our favorites.
Public Relations Society of America
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), started in 1947, is the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals. PRSA has a great mix of online and in-person networking opportunities, with 111 local chapters in the United States. The group works to advocate for a greater understanding of public relations services. Members enjoy access to events, job boards, social networks, webinars and other services to help with your professional development. The cost depends on the membership level you choose and your background.
International Public Relations Association
For a more international flavor, check out the International Public Relations Association (IPRA). IPRA is a global community of people active in public relations - practitioners, academics and students. For £100 ($141.0 US dollars at the time of this post), you get access to international networking opportunities via global and regional conferences and meetings. You can connect with PR specialists and academics from five continents and enjoy free access to the IRPA online portal of global PR resources.
As you might expect, there are a number of LinkedIn Groups dedicated o the practice of PR. They are a great way to become part of the conversation.
- Public Relations and Communications Professionals - A group dedicated to increasing networking and business opportunities for its members. Join.
- Public Relations Professionals - A group formed to share ideas, discuss best practices, network and examine challenges with corporate messaging and outreach. Join.
- Public Relations Specialists - This group was created for corporate communication specialists and public relations professionals to expand the network of people and ideas. Join.
- Public Relations, Corporate and Media professionals from around the world - Membership is open to anyone active in corporate marketing and communication teams, PR agencies, IR agencies, media, PR academic and educational institutes, non-profit organizations, governmental public relations and solo practitioners. Join.
For those with special interest, we also recommend the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS). For a fee of just $99 per year, membership includes a free feature in the membership guide, a job board and an annual 3-day conference. Membership in the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), which cost $125 per year, offers you professional development seminars and workshops focusing on the latest trends, issues and best practices in the industry, and networking opportunities throughout the year.
There are a lot of smart people out there thinking about how brands can more effectively and efficiently engage with the public, protect their reputations in this day and age of online reviews, and monitor and measure the progress of their efforts. These on-line communities are a great way to plug in to the ideas of others and grow your personal brand by sharing your own.