As we enter another year at UNC-Chapel Hill and the School of Journalism and Mass Communicaiton, many of you are probably wondering whether it’s worth it to get involved with Carolina PRSSA.
Obviously, I’m a little biased. I realize that $65 a year (the cost of dues) can be a lot for people, and that when you’ve already had multiple internships, you don’t see any benefit from joining our Chapter.
I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong, and to do so, I’ve come up with a list of nine reasons why you should join this year.
1. Mentors: I know we talk about mentors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication a lot, but they really are SO important, especially in the field of public relations. Becoming a member of Carolina PRSSA gives you a huge support system, with tons of people who are willing to help you out. The Executive Board is working on implementing a mentorship program this year to help students adjust their public relations major. Plus, there are so many people (whether they’re preparing to graduate or young alums) who are willing to help you as you begin your public relations journey. Make sure you don’t miss out on everything they have to offer!
2. Networking: In this economy, and especially this field, networking is HUGE. Between the speakers we bring in to meetings and the network of UNC-Chapel Hill alums all over the country, Carolina PRSSA gives you the opportunity to build up your professional network, right from Chapel Hill. You never know where your next internship can come from, so don’t miss out on any opportunity to make connections!
3. Build your portfolio: We re-modeled our Executive Board this year to include a Special Projects Director. Under this initiative, Carolina PRSSA will take on at least one special project a semester, whether that’s participating in one of the competitions run by PRSSA, or helping out a local business or non-profit with a public relations campaign. This gives you the opportunity to gain some public relations experience, while still within the support system of the Chapter.
4. Access to JobCenter: Perhaps the biggest reason to join Carolina PRSSA is our access to JobCenter. This is a tool for PRSSA members only, where you can post your resume online and look for internships or jobs (think University Career Services, but bigger and for public relations students only). Plus, our website has a page for members only where we’ll keep an updated list of public relations opportunities in the Chapel Hill area.
5. Professional society: PRSSA is known throughout the country and is a great addition to your resume. Unlike many clubs, Carolina PRSSA’s only goal is to help you advance as public relations professionals. We’re here to talk about the latest developments in the field, and give you the tools you need to be a successful public relations practitioner. Everyone in Carolina PRSSA is interested in public relations, and there’s so much you can learn from your classmates!
6. Attend events: In addition to our Special Projects Director, we also established a Special Events Director, who is in charge of planning at least one special event per semester. This can be anything from networking nights with professionals from around the Triangle, to a Regional Activity. You do not want to miss out on these events hosted by Carolina PRSSA. Plus, PRSSA hosts national events like National Conference and National Assembly!
7. Learn from the professionals: Carolina PRSSA hosts at least one guest speaker a month, who is a professional in the public relations industry. Let us know which aspects of public relations you’re most interested in and we’ll work on bringing in a guest speaker to address your interests! We’ve had some wonderful guest speakers in the past, and this program is a great way to supplement what you learn in the classroom.
8. Hands-on workshops: In addition to hosting one guest speaker a month, Carolina PRSSA is also planning on hosting one workshop a month. Each month will have a theme, and so the workshop will go along with the topic of the guest speaker. These workshops can be anything from social media training to crisis communication practice. Make sure you’re prepared for entering the public relations field by attending these workshops!
9. J-School connection: Carolina PRSSA has a wonderful relationship with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Our chapter offers many opportunities to get to know your public relations professors better and become more involved in the school.
We hope to see you on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in Carroll Hall!
Amy Dobrzynski, Vice President