Not interested in a career in public relations? So maybe you think there is no reason to join a professional student organization like the Public Relations Student Society of America? Think again. Membership in a professional organization like PRSSA can help you enhance your education, broaden your network and launch your career…and that’s not just marketing mantra talking!
According to Stacey Cohen, founder of Co-Communications Inc., personal branding is critical for college students, CEOs and everyone in between.
Cohen says, “In a sea of sameness, the need to develop a strong point of difference to progress to the next round is non-negotiable.”
The job market is fiercely competitive, and as I have often reiterated to students, you have to do more than just get the piece of paper. Everyone who crosses that stage on graduation day is doing that. What are you going to do to make you a stand-out brand?
Cohen shares eight tips in growing your own brand, and here are a few ways I think PRSSA can help you with each tip on her list.
1. Strong brands are intentional. Joining PRSSA shows prospective employers your professional initiative. If you want to convey your value to a prospective employer, be intentional in the way you build your brand. What you learn from the professionals you meet through PRSSA will help you to define your unique brand.
2. Have an answer to “what’s in it for me?” This is a question public relations students hear from day one, so PRSSA members pursuing a public relations career may see both sides to this question: their own personal branding value and that of future clients. However, any young professional can benefit from learning how to answer this question and how it pertains to finding ways to make them stand out among an ocean of applicants.
3. Know how to work a room. Relationship building is critical for any career path. In PRSSA, members get opportunities to learn from some of the best. Past programs have given members hands-on practice in networking and how to effectively work a room in professional and social settings.
4. Stay on brand. Your digital presence is important to your future success. PRSSA hosts a variety of social media workshops to help members learn how to best use LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, just to name a few, to enhance their professional brand.
5. Be self-aware. PRSSA membership gives you an opportunity to form relationships with engaged professionals who are eager to serve as mentors. These relationships offer an opportunity for members to seek advice and then put that feedback into practice to strengthen their brand identity.
6. Create a powerful online presence. College students are masters of media, but PRSSA members get the opportunity to learn how to put their social media skills to work for their own professional career goals.
7. Have a multi-channel approach. Cohen addresses the many tools a college student should have in their toolkit. From social media to professional head shots or resumes to volunteer opportunities, PRSSA offers a variety of professional development options at its monthly meetings. Members get the chance to learn from expert resume writers, garner advice from industry leaders and even get the opportunity to have that professional head shot taken free of charge, which they can use for their LinkedIn profiles.
8. Deliver on your promise. Taking an active role in PRSSA, gives members opportunities to strengthen core skills needed by all professionals, in all career fields. Whether it is being a Chapter officer, writing for the Chapter’s blog or serving at the National level, members build upon their professional integrity through all the opportunities available to them as PRSSA members.
As Cohen says, “Remember: you are the product.”
Don’t miss the opportunities PRSSA can offer to you in building your brand. Sign up today. The deadline for fall membership is Oct. 21, so get your application submitted today.
In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.