By Kathleen Williams, APR
Several years ago, a bit past when I could actually call myself ‘mid-career,’ I was downsized from my job as an editor of a Gannett daily. I was fortunate enough to get a job, in the midst of the world’s worst recession, in public relations at a local Workforce Investment Board.
The best thing I did for myself was to join the Cincinnati PRSA chapter. Our office was part of the Chamber's office in the Carew Tower, and at the time, Chris Kemper headed the Chamber’s PR. He encouraged me to try out PRSA. I owe him a debt of gratitude.
What did I find? A group that welcomed me – someone who had no background in PR and no local PR contacts. That quickly changed. PRSA opened doors for me, and for that I am grateful.
Because of PRSA, I decided to get my APR (which frankly, I had never heard of until I joined the organization). Because of PRSA, I had a great mentor in Gail Myers, who helped me as I put together my APR project. Because of PRSA, I grew to know people at agencies, businesses, hospitals, non-profits, government, and schools. Because of PRSA, I’ve learned much more about public relations – how to plan and execute a campaign, how to develop strategies and tactics. Because of PRSA, I learned there was much more to public relations than media relations. Because of PRSA, I can bounce ideas off other professionals.
I raised my hand to help out on the Blacksmith Committee, and the next year, I was co-chair of it. In my current incarnation, I’ve assembled a team of talented bloggers who write on a regular basis for our website, and I so appreciate their work.
We often say the best reason to join PRSA is networking. And that’s true. Because it’s what the networking leads to that is so valuable.
I’ll never stop being an ambassador for Cincinnati PRSA. It’s really made a difference to my professional life, and when I encourage people to join, I mean it from the heart.