Making the Most of Your Professional Society

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This year’s March Membership Month at CPRS saw our professional society grow as current members extended the invitation to colleagues, with “nearly every new member being referred by a current member,” according to John Kageorge, Membership Chair of CPRS Vancouver.

So you’re new, and you want to make the most of your membership. How do you get started?

Attend an Event

You likely know someone who is a member, so register for an event together or bring along another colleague - CPRS has member, student, and non-member pricing for most events. Attend an event and see how you can take what you’ve learned and put it to use right away. The knowledge is more likely to stay with you if you apply what you’ve learned.

Action today: check out the events calendar and sign up online: www.cprsvancouver.com/events/

Volunteer for a Cause

Your skills are valuable and can benefit others. A quarter of our members have some pretty impressive credentials; they are either accredited (APRs), Fellows (FCPRS), or Life Members. If you’re newer to the PR profession, you can bring energy and enthusiasm to a volunteer role. It is an effective way to boost your résumé, expand your scope of practice, or break into a new industry. See where you’re needed by visiting: www.cprsvancouver.com/volunteer/

Pitch a Guest Post

If you’re keen to share your ideas with others, you may enjoy blogging. If you’re an expert on a topic, or want to comment on a recent trend in the PR industry, there are many online publications where you can submit an article or idea for a guest post.

CPRS Vancouver accepts guest posts on our blog, in addition to our excellent team of volunteer writers. If that sounds appealing, you may consider volunteering for CPRS Vancouver.

Get a Mentor

The CPRS Vancouver Mentorship Program gives practitioners a wonderful opportunity to benefit from the guidance of fellow experienced public relations professionals. This mentorship program is available for all members. My personal experience has been great and I would highly recommend members make use of this opportunity.  I was paired up with my mentor in the beginning of this year, and we meet once every month to discuss a specific set of topics that are assigned by myself or my mentor.

If you have questions like “Am I on the right track with my career?” or “How can I navigate this complicated situation?” or simply “Is this normal?” you can ask someone who can give you advice, or point you in the right direction.

Plan your Next Three Years

PR practitioners that have been a member for three years and have been engaged on a national level will likely remain a member for their entire career. CPRS Vancouver’s stability increases as we encourage more people to become APRs, award-winners, conference presenters and committee volunteers. As John Kageorge said, “We find that if a member doesn’t get involved during the first 3 years, they may disappear from the society. Many of our members, 63% have been a member for at least 3 years.” If that’s the case, think now about how you want to get involved and make the most out of your CPRS Membership.

No matter what you choose, CPRS Vancouver offer great opportunities to participate and contribute in a profession society that wants to see you succeed.

About the Author

Wahida Gardizi holds a Master degree in International Public Relations and Global Communication from Cardiff University with a BA in Criminology from SFU. She runs her own consultancy business in PR and Comms and enjoys her time volunteering in not-for-profit organization with YWIB Vancouver. She has a drive and passion for continuous learning. Twitter: @wgardizi Website: wgcommunication.com

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