By Bailey Briscoe

Each semester, we receive a lot of questions about PRSSA, the IU chapter and the benefits of becoming a member. With the deadline quickly approaching to pay dues, we thought we would answer some of those questions for those that are still on the fence.

The 2016-17 executive board.

What is PRSSA?

There are multiple Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapters around the country (and in Argentina, Colombia & Peru). The Beth Wood Chapter (that’s us!) is one of 14 chapters in Indiana alone. PR professionals who saw the need for a community founded the first PRSSA chapter in 1967. Each chapter follows this mission:

“The Society’s mission is to serve our members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities; and to serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified, well-prepared professionals.”

PRSSA is a pre-professional (meaning it prepares you for the real, professional world of PR) organization that caters towards those wanting to enter into a PR-related field after college.

What do my dues cover?

The $65 payment mostly goes to nationals (the big boss of all the PRSSA chapters). Our chapter only takes $10 to put towards things like bringing in professional speakers from out of town, catering mass meetings and funding agency tours or national conference each year.

What activities can I expect to participate in?

Let’s use last year as an example. Some of the activities we hosted were:

  • Half Day with a Pro: Students shadow individuals in the workplace for a half day, which is a great networking opportunity. Companies see this as a way to recruit top talent.
  • Young Pros Panel: We bring in a panel of speakers who have just recently graduated from IU and got jobs in the area. They tell us about their hiring process, the companies they work for and the type of work they do.
  • Resume workshop: A career advisor hosted a workshop with us to tweak our resumes and provide tips for applying for jobs/internships
  • Design boot camps: We had a series of workshops centered around teaching the ins and outs of various programs used in the PR industry, like InDesign and Photoshop.
  • Chicago agency tours: We took a group of students to Chicago for the weekend and lines up several tours of PR agencies. Students were able to network and get noticed by individuals in the industry, plus see what it would be like to work at an agency.

Just to name a few.

How will this organization help me with my future career?

You will have many opportunities to network over the course of the year. This means meeting people that could potentially hire you one day (seriously, many members have

PR agency tours are just one of the perks of being a PRSSA member.

gotten jobs or internships because of PRSSA).

As a member, you can sign up to be on committees. Our committees work with real-world clients here in Bloomington to solve their PR-related issues or provide PR advice. In the past we have helped our clients with press releases, social media, branding and more. We have a variety of committees to fit everyone’s interests, also.

After college, you can join PRSA (for real professionals) and continue getting similar benefits. P.S. Most employers pay for your membership fees, so this shows how important it is to the industry.

Do recruiters care if I was in PRSSA?

Yes! We’ve heard from many companies and PR agencies that say they disregard applications if they know the school has a PRSSA chapter but involvement isn’t listed on the individual’s resume.

So, why should I join PRSSA?

If you want to have a job in PR post-graduation, this is the organization for you to get involved with. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to gain experience and add to your resume. At the same time, you really will be preparing yourself for a career in PR. The things you will do as a student will impress your future employers and help you get hired.

Alumni of PRSSA at IU come back for the “Young Pros Panel” and give students advice on a career in the industry.

In addition, you will be introduced to a network of professionals in the industry who will be happy to help you succeed.

Need more convincing? Check out this post by our current chapter president.

I’m convinced. How do I sign up?

Click this link below and complete the process to pay dues by October 25. Important: once you pay your dues, send a screenshot of your confirmation of payment to Kelsey Harding (kelmhard@indiana.edu). Once she receives this confirmation and fill out the Google doc, you will be an official PRSSA member!

  1. Copy and paste everything highlighted into your browser. Find PRSSA and add dues to your shopping cart. Link: http://soapay.3dcartstores.com/
  2. Pay and send screenshot to Kelsey Harding (kelmhard@indiana.edu)
  3. Fill out this Google Doc with your information.

Still have questions? Feel free to email iuprssa@gmail.com for general questions or any of the exec members


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