ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
May 18, 2009

This Is the Way Professional Associations Are Meant to Work!


I joined PRSA-LA after hanging out on the outskirts for about a year. I had attended some breakfasts, mixers and other events, but had held off on becoming a member. Then, I attended two events that really galvanized my intentions to join: the “State of the State of PR” event featuring some extraordinary media leaders and the county-wide mixer events (I attended the Santa Monica mixer). Both the professional development and the networking opportunities — and, to be honest, the fact that I could do both more cheaply as a member — finally won me over. I joined right after the mixer, and was pleasantly surprised to get a welcome-to-PRSA/LA call from Cynthia Gibson, someone I had met at the mixer and who, coincidentally, is on the committee to welcome new members. The networking was already working!

In our conversation, Cynthia asked me what I wanted to get out of the membership. What a great question! I shared that I currently have a job that includes media relations — an area of responsibility new to me, having come from a political/public affairs background. Specifically, I was really looking for a mentor/coach who could help guide me in the media outreach arena. Cynthia immediately thought of Meg McDonald as being a good fit, and put me in touch immediately with Meg. I’ve since been in touch with Meg and had a meeting with her. She’s gratefully offered to be a mentor and has already given me several suggestions and opportunities to build my media relations skills.�

And, that’s how professional associations ought to work. I’m impressed, PRSA-LA! Moreover, I’m happy to be part of the family.

By Amy Exelby, vice consul, political, press and public affairs, British Consulate-General, in Los Angeles, Calif. Amy is a member of PRSA-LA.

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