Professional Society Membership as Career Builder

Kate PerrinAn interview with PRofessional Solutions Founder and CEO Kate Perrin

Q: Do you recommend professional society membership to your PR colleagues?

A:  Absolutely! I encourage all professional communicators to find the right group and join no matter what their level of experience or area of expertise. A good professional society will offer programming for members at all levels and the benefits of membership are invaluable.

Q:  What do you consider the most important benefits of joining a professional society?

A:  I’ve found the three most important career-boosting benefits to membership are: 1) it fosters further development of professional skills and knowledge of tools and trends; 2) it expands your colleagues network for sharing information, ideas and support; 3) it provides a pool of potential employees and employers.

Q:  How has membership benefited you specifically?

A:  Professional society membership helped me launch PRofessional Solutions, LLC twenty-five years ago. The network of contacts I developed while serving as president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) provided me with an immediate pool of both prospective temps and clients, not to mention the level of support I received from my colleagues. My subsequent involvement as a board member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and active sponsor of the Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) have further expanded my network and been instrumental in the growth of my business.

Q:  What advice would you give to new members?

A:  Don’t just become a member, become an active member by joining a committee or volunteering for special programs and events, such as judging awards, moderating a panel or providing pro bono service. Attending monthly meetings is not enough when trying to build professional relationships with fellow members. The real networking takes place while working together on a project–and your skills are being enhanced at the same time.

About Melanie Jordan

Melanie Jordan is Managing Director of PRofessional Solutions, LLC, a public relations temporary staffing firm located in Washington, DC.
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