A New Year, and a New Approach

By Sultana F. Ali, APR, PRSA-NCC President

s-aliAs 2015 wound to a close, I found myself logging the year’s pitfalls as well as accomplishments in my mind. We closed the year at PRSA-NCC successfully under the leadership of Mitch Marovitz, having the highest membership survey response in many years, laying the groundwork for a robust pro-bono PR effort in our community, growing our membership, and reaching our financial goals. And, we celebrated with a fabulous holiday party where I enjoyed meeting many of you in person.

Now, it’s time to look ahead to this year and the excitement and opportunity it brings. For PRSA-NCC, that will mean expanded programming, opportunities for mentorship, a recharged thought leadership platform, outreach to our community, and renewed vigor for strong board governance. As members, you have an opportunity to engage with your chapter as your leaders strive to serve you with the best professional development programs and events PRSA has to offer.

The New Year is also a time to consider what this year will mean for us as individuals in our careers. As PR professionals, we strive to remain aware of the ever-changing industries we work in and stay at the top of our game. In searching for these kinds of guidelines, I came upon an Inc. magazine article, “8 Career Moves to Master in 2016,” and one of these pointers was to update your reading ritual because “diversity of thought is the key to creativity.” By reading a wide range of material through your social media feeds and other subscriptions, you are consistently armed with strategies and tactics at your fingertips.

Another item to add to your list of goals is to register for and attend PRSA professional development workshops. We have events nearly every week in our chapter and many of them provide specific training techniques – from enhancing digital strategies to crisis communications to smart media pitching. At our workshops, you’ll learn from the best and brightest in the metropolitan DC area and walk away having met someone new and more empowered in your skills as a PR professional.

To these tips, I’ll add a simple word: connection. Have you ever encountered a PR conundrum, not known where to turn, and reached out to a colleague in PRSA? Having friends in PR to reach out to when faced with quandaries is a tremendous benefit of PRSA. Make this your year to engage and connect with a PR colleague, to volunteer for one of our many committees, or make a commitment to follow-up with someone you met at a PRSA-NCC event.

If you are a new member or looking for ways to leverage your membership, you’ll see our chapter leaders with a marked badge at our events; introduce yourself and they will help you to connect. Make sure to attend our Membership Rally on March 8 (new date) and you will have opportunities to meet committee leaders and engage more fully with your chapter.

Make 2016 your best year yet, and let us know how we can help you reach your PR goals for 2016!

Networking Elevated My Career

By: Kate Jones

Katharine JonesNetworking, in our industry and especially in this city is standard. It is just as important as knowing how to write a great press release or pitch the media.

How did I grow my network? At first I didn’t really have one. I wasn’t working in D.C., making it that much more difficult to really commit to building my network. However, I knew that to grow professionally and personally I needed to put myself out there. I attended PRSA events monthly and joined the membership committee to elevate my involvement.

While attending a PRSA Young Professional and New Membership networking social, I met and became great friends with a fellow PRSA member. This connection not only developed into a great friendship but also led me to my current employment position.

By networking with industry professionals you inevitably meet peers or mentors that influence your career journey. PRSA networking events are more than chatting and a good cocktail. They are the spark to creating long-term friendships and professional relationships that elevate your experiences and career.

So when you’re super busy or tired or just not in the mood to socialize, just remember that all PR professionals need a strong network to grow.


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