By Patty Nicastri, Co-chair of PRSA-NCC’s Professional Development Committee
I joined PRSA-NCC around five years ago. For my first two years, I was a very passive member. I would occasionally attend events and keep “PRSA member” as a phrase on my resume, but I found myself wanting more—to be more involved, to get more out of my membership, to learn more about the ever-changing field of PR. I decided the best way to do this was to join the professional development committee. It has significantly helped me with my professional development journey. As a committee co-chair, I want to share with you five reasons why you should join a committee and take your career to the next level.
- Expand your interests. There are 17 committees, each covering different topics within PRSA. Find a committee that piques your interest and dive in. Whether it’s membership, pro bono & community support, mentoring, sponsorship, professional development, or something else, there’s a committee for you.
- Hone your skills. No matter which committee you join, there are lots of opportunities for your own professional development. As co-chair, I’ve been able to refine skills in event planning, public speaking, and budgeting. PRSA gives you the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in a supportive environment.
- Learn how to be a better leader. Leadership doesn’t depend on your title or the letters at the end of your email signature. And you don’t have to be a co-chair or board member to be a leader in a PRSA committee. You’ll be able to demonstrate your leadership by working collaboratively with your committee, setting a positive example, and offering to help improve and build upon committee projects.
- Network. While I work in communications, I’m not inherently a great networker. I’m a bit of an introvert, so it goes without saying that I have always found it challenging to go up to strangers, introduce myself, and engage in a conversation. Since volunteering with PRSA, this has been less of a challenge for me! As a committee member, you will have lots of opportunities to network with other PRSA members and event attendees.
- Make a difference. Collectively, we have an incredible amount of public relations skills and experience. The more we hone those skills, the higher we set the bar at our companies and in our communities. Volunteering with PRSA means you are helping to set that bar by creating education opportunities and connecting with the PR community.
Join us! Find your committee and take the next step in your career.