As a Chapter Adviser, you make PRSSA possible through your dedication to students and education. PRSSA knows you have many obligations, so please use the tools and connections below to help you in this role.
The PRSSA National Faculty Advisers and the PRSSA National Professional Advisers are hosting informal sessions throughout the year to exchange ideas and best practices with other Advisers across the country. Save the dates and times below and simply join using the links below (no registration required).
The Buzz Session (Faculty Adviser Session)
Meet Up With Mike (Professional Adviser Session)
Whether you are just taking the reigns or have been the Adviser for years, we hope to shed some insight into other successful Advisers are doing at their Chapters. See below for materials used by other Chapters.
- Community Service Fact Sheet
- PRSSA Diversity & Inclusion Presentation
- PRSSA Student-run Firm Tip Sheet
- PRSSA Bateman Competition Best Practices
Answers to Questions
When you need someone to share an idea with or to discuss a challenge, you can connect with other Chapter leaders through the Faculty Adviser and Professional Adviser Google Group and through PRSSA social media. In addition, the National Committee members and PRSSA Headquarters are here to support you and field questions.
Additional Tools for Advisers
We also recommend the following tools and information provided by PRSSA to strengthen Chapters.
- Professional Adviser Playbook 2019 ( PDF)
- Dues Info - Learn how to submit dues. Deadlines: March 1 and Nov. 1.
- Handbooks and Guides - Get help with recruitment, Student-run Firms, Chapters, District Conferences and your PRSA relationship.
- Fundraising - Learn how to unify your Chapter, earn money and support causes through fundraising.
- PRSSA Faculty Adviser Tips Brochure
National Faculty Advisory Council
PRSSA is currently seeking candidates to establish a National Faculty Advisory Council. Each council member (we are interested in at least 8–12 members) must commit to serving at least one academic year and will have the option to serve an additional year, if desired.
This National Faculty Advisory Council will work closely with the PRSSA National Faculty Adviser and National Headquarters. Below are the expected responsibilities for members of this Council.
- Join a planning/overview meeting for the Council and at least three additional meetings per academic year (date and time to be determined).
- Assistance confirming the Faculty and Professional Adviser contact information for Chapters.
- Check-in with Advisers within your cohort (25-30 Chapters) twice during the academic year.
- This meeting should provide updates but should focus on learning more about the Chapter and the needs of the Adviser.
- Offer at least one Town Hall virtual meeting for the Advisers within your cohort.
- Provide a summer or fall onboarding of new Advisers (with zero to five years of experience) within their cohort of Chapters.
- Connect with Advisers during the PRSSA Adviser session offered during the International Conference in November 2022.
Specific qualifications include but are not limited to the following:
- Active PRSA membership.
- Strong Chapter-level experience as a PRSSA Faculty Adviser.
- A willingness to advocate for PRSSA and the PRSSA Faculty Advisers.
- Willingness to spend at least one to two hours weekly on Council work.
If you are currently seeking a volunteer position on the National level and enjoy working with other PRSSA Advisers and/or educators, I encourage you to apply. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 460-1466.
Tips for Advisers
Here are some helpful tips on how to be a successful Adviser from working with other Chapters to fundraising:
Fun Quality Relationships - Working With Other Chapters
Have a charter that identifies what each Chapter is responsible for.
- Communicate often.
- Deal with conflicts swiftly.
- Establish a president’s council for all the state PRSSA Chapters. Meet at the PRSA Chapter meetings.
- Celebrate holiday events together.
- Attend Leadership Rally for PRSSA Chapter officers.
- Reach out to community colleges.
- Reach out to local high schools.
- Sponsor Regional Conferences.
- Faculty Advisers hold the key.
- Bring in Champions for PRSSA and College of Fellows.
Adviser 101 - For the New Adviser
- Develop thorough job descriptions for each officer (e.g., secretary submits minutes within 72 hours, etc.) and give to officers before they run for office. Once they are elected, have them sign a contract.
- Offer graduation cords to seniors for an additional charge.
- Host workshops (e.g., social media) for local businesses. Develop relationships with other PRSA/PRSSA Chapters in the area and attend events together.
Certification in Education for Public Relations
Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) is of value to educators, their students and their schools before, during and after the review.
Before the Review
- As you prepare for the site visit, CEPR standards document for you and your administration the resources necessary for a quality program in public relations education.
- Because most schools ask questions of the Educational Affairs and CEPR co-chairs, they get ideas for improvement before they even apply. Most programs become stronger through the preparation process, and denial is rare because deficiencies can be resolved in advance of the site visit.
During the Review
- The site visit reviewers and PRSA Educational Affairs will offer suggestions for improvement. This provides you with new ideas and with written external recommendations for your administration to consider in allocating resources.
- The PRSA Board of Directors will become aware of your program when they review the recommendation from Educational Affairs, and the PRSA Assembly spotlight will be on your school when certification is conferred.
After the Review
- A review is a win-win opportunity regardless of the outcome. If you do not get certification right away, you will get recommendations for improvement so that your program will qualify later.
- When you get certification, it will bring prestige to both you and your program.
- CEPR can be an effective recruitment tool to attract new students to your program.
- CEPR also can give your students an edge in competing for internships and jobs because it signifies they come from a program endorsed by PRSA.
- In addition, because a re-certification review is required every six years, it provides you with ongoing justification for resource upgrades.
Dollars for Your Chapter – Fundraising Events and Other Ideas
- Ask for Conference support from your PRSA Chapter. This seems to work better with a PRSA Chapter that only sponsors one or two PRSSA Chapters. Several PRSA Chapters have ongoing programs to provide support for students attending International Conference.
- Ask for help from graduates. One school breaks funding down into segments — sponsor a student’s registration, sponsor a student for a day (cost of housing/registration) or sponsor a student’s meals, etc. Providing several different levels of support lets younger graduates who aren’t able to write big checks get involved and help.
- Seek support from your Chapter’s Professional Adviser and their organization. They know your Chapter and students best and have already demonstrated their commitment by serving as a Professional Adviser. Helping fund students going to International Conference is a logical extension of this support.
- Involve the greater campus community through a “President for a Day” raffle that lets the winner trade jobs with university president/chancellor for a day. One campus that tried this initially expected students to buy the most chances but discovered that people on the buildings and grounds crew did. A buildings and grounds crew member won, but the president was a good sport and went through with the exchange as promised. Schools with less understanding presidents might consider involving the dean, department chair or even Faculty Adviser in a “Trade for a Day” raffle.
- Consider inviting internship mentors to help support International Conference attendance for the students they’ve had as interns during the course of a year. They know about the program and have ties through their interns.
Making the Most of Your Professional Adviser
- Have an advising council of multiple professionals.
- Use newer professionals as Professional Advisers (five to seven years of experience).
- Enlist engagement in annual planning through quarterly reports.
- Hold networking dinner with professionals annually.
- Use teleconferencing and Skype for long-distance communication.
- Have a list for Professional Advisers.
- Give professionals a wish list of support items and ask them to cherry-pick what they can help with; recruit other professionals for the remaining items when necessary.
- Have the Professional Adviser help your Chapter find speakers for Chapter meetings.
- Ask the Professional Adviser to help arrange field trips to public relations departments, public relations firms and media outlets.
- Enlist the Professional Adviser’s counsel for Bateman and other activities.
- Have the Professional Adviser help your Chapter’s members find mentors.