Advancing the Profession and the Professional

What exactly do I get for that $300 PRSA membership?

by David McCulloch, PRSA Silicon Valley Immediate Past President and Senior Director, Corporate Communications, Cisco

As Silicon Valley PRSA immediate past president, even I must confess that PRSA dues can seem pretty steep at first. But what’s that I hear you say? Don’t judge a book by its cost? Now there’s common sense!

With annual membership dues ranging from $115 for affiliate membership to $255 for full national membership (plus a local chapter membership fee), it’s easy to be turned off by the price, especially if you don’t have an employer willing to cover the cost.

But let me save you that chapter membership fee right away. From now until September 30th your local chapter membership is FREE (a saving of $75) when you join PRSA with promo code AUG13. (Certain restrictions apply.)

Access to Training and Valuable Data

OK, so that discount got you interested. But I suspect you’re now thinking: what do I get for the $255 (plus one-time $65 initiation fee if you’re a new member) that isn’t wiped away by the discount? Let’s get straight to that.

Without a doubt, the biggest and best benefit you receive from membership is free access to thousands of dollars (approximately $7500) of training courses, seminars and webinars annually.  Each year, PRSA offers more than 50 webinars on topics ranging from the Anatomy of a 2.0 Press Release to Communicating Health Care Reform. Here’s the PRSA training calendar. Best of all, you can easily extend this training to your entire team. There’s no limit to the number of folks that can listen in.

Beyond the “live” training, PRSA also offers an impressive array of on-demand video education programs on ethics, leadership and management, measurement, and much more. Check out the PRSA on-demand learning catalog. You can save hundreds of dollars on the cost of in-person courses such as “Advanced Crisis Communications Strategy,”  “Building Media Relationships” and “Pitching Boot Camp” that all take place in the Bay Area later this year.

If you still need convincing, think about the additional value derived from gaining access to PRSA’s research library, and complimentary subscriptions to the daily Issues & Trends newsletter, the monthly Public Relations Tactics flagship newspaper and The Public Relations Strategist quarterly magazine featuring executive-level insight. The insights gained from those publications are the best you’ll find from any industry publication!

Discounted Conference Registration Fees

Need another discount to seal the deal? Consider this: you can recoup the entire cost of your annual membership fee with the $300 savings you gain by registering for the PRSA international conference in October as a member.

Join Our Community

For all of this impressive ROI, none of it quite sums of the true value of membership to me. In my experience, what you really get by choosing to invest your dollars and a little of your free time in PRSA is the opportunity to be part of a community that gives back as much as you  give.

Whether it’s networking, professional development or media relationships, we have something for everyone.  Book-ending every year are Media Predicts, our signature editorial forecast event  and The Future of PR, our annual assessment of the state of the PR profession in Silicon Valley. In between, we help you sharpen your media relationships with our Inside the Newsroom series and brush up your skills – and maybe even find that next career opportunity — with a variety of networking and professional development events. If you’ve been thinking about getting  APR accredited, we can help with that, too. And we also run one of America’s most active PR mentorship programs for those taking their first steps into our profession.

If all of this hasn’t convinced you to sign up, then let me do one more thing: I’d like to introduce you to our team!

PRSA Silicon Valley’s Board and committees, past and present, are packed with agency leaders, corporate PR professionals, government communications officers and entrepreneurs. Now come on, get out your credit card and join PRSA today!

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