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Tools for Chapter Leaders

Strengthen Your Chapter

As a Chapter leader, you are a vital part of the PRSSA community. You have a big responsibility, and PRSSA offers information, tools and connections to help you tackle your challenges, expand your opportunities and strengthen your Chapter.


Dues Info

Learn how to submit dues.

PRSSA Headquarters must receive dues by March 1 or Nov. 1. Contact PRSSA Headquarters if circumstances prevent you from meeting these deadlines. Even if dues are late, the memberships are considered as starting either March 1 or Nov. 1, and will expire the following year on the last day of February or October.

Submitting Dues

Chapter Administration Portal: https://imis-prssa.prsa.org/ChapterAdmin

The dues process is now fully online and individual students can now manage paying their own membership. However, if your Chapter has elected to submit national dues on behalf of your entire Chapter, please have your Chapter president, Faculty Adviser or treasurer log in using this link and reference the Dues Instructions PDF for further instructions. For further information about the two options, please refer to the information below.

Option 1

PRSSA Headquarters will collect both Chapter (if applicable) and National dues for each member of your Chapter by directing your members to pay, register and renew individually online.

Option 2

Your Chapter will retain control of the dues process and will be required to collect dues for each member, collect information for all new/renewing members and input all member information into the new portal online. We will no longer be accepting Chapter rosters and Excel documents as attachments or via mail to register students. If this is the option that your Chapter would like to use, please contact Michael Molaro at Michael.Molaro@prsa.org or call our membership line at (212) 460-1400 for further instructions.

In either scenario, Faculty Advisers, Chapter presidents and one other executive board member will have access to membership reports on an ongoing basis. You will no longer need to request a membership roster or report from Headquarters.

Note: If you are graduating the same semester that you are joining, please contact us on becoming a PRSA Associate Member.

Handbooks and Guides

Get help with recruitment, Student-run Firms, Chapters, District Conferences, Chapter News and your PRSA relationship.

To help you with the many responsibilities you have as a Chapter leader, PRSSA provides the handbooks and guides below.

Chapter Handbook

The Chapter Handbook describes the programs and tools you will need to serve your members and have a successful term. Learn about PRSSA’s Chapter standards, benefits, vision and National events and initiatives. Get tips to help you recruit and plan meetings and events.

Student-run Firm Handbook

The Student-run Firm Handbook offers useful information to help you start, run or improve your Student-run Firm. It includes templates, case studies and suggestions for structure, finances and evaluation. Use the handbook to prepare to apply for National Affiliation and to earn a Student-run Firm award.

District Conference Information Handbook

The District Conference Information Handbook gives you a step-by-step guide to hosting a District Conference that is successful and unique. Based on the experience of past hosts, the handbook includes information about submitting a bid, planning, implementing your event and evaluating your success.

District Conference Execution Handbook

The District Conference Execution Handbook provides you with strategies and tactics that will help with the event planning process. Whether you are a pro or planning an event for the first time, the handbook will help you through the planning, promotion and evaluation of your Conference.

PRSSA/PRSA Relationship Manual

The PRSSA/PRSA Relationship Manual outlines numerous ways for you to build and maintain a strong relationship with your PRSA sponsor Chapter. This guide of ideas and best practices can help you decide how to apply your resources and to strengthen your PRSSA/PRSA Chapter ties as a foundation for ongoing and successful interaction.

Brand Identity Guidelines

The PRSA Brand Identity Guidelines provides instructions on using the PRSSA logo and tag line as well as media strategies. Also included are templates you can replicate for your Chapter. Learn PRSSA and PRSA terminology, internet style and tips for formatting and punctuation.

Membership Involves You Brochure

Use this full-color, engaging brochure to attract new and inform current members of PRSSA benefits.

National Bylaws

As the guiding standards for all PRSSA Chapters, the National Bylaws explains the Chapter requirements, national structure and governance.

Situation Analysis

Published by the National Committee, the Situation Analysis describes the history and current status of National initiatives. As a Chapter leader, you should use it as a template for maintaining your own individual records.

 

 

Leadership Transition

Tips for how to transition smoothly.

An effective transition helps new leaders make good choices about programs to start, stop or continue; prevents leaders from repeating past mistakes; and helps maintain relationships with professionals and organizations.

Tips for a Successful Transition

  • Emerging Leaders - Identify emerging leaders early in the year and encourage them to run for office by contacting them personally.
  • Information on a USB - Have each executive board member create a USB that outlines everything the next officer will need to know about the position. Include contacts, materials from past events, agendas and PRSSA resources such as the Chapter Handbook.
  • Shadowing - After elections are held, allow the incoming officers to shadow the outgoing executive board officer.
  • Orientation or Retreat - Plan time for bonding and discussion between the incoming and outgoing board members through an event such as an orientation or officer retreat. Discuss programs that worked or didn’t work and goals for the following year, and review transition binders, lists of duties and other important information.
  • Introductions - Introduce incoming officers to important campus contacts and resources such as the student activities coordinator, student accounts personnel, PRSSA mailbox and PRSA Sponsor Chapter contact.
  • Chapter Brand - Make sure the time you invest in preparing the incoming executive board mirrors the amount of time you’ve invested in building your Chapter’s brand. Ask yourself whether the incoming leaders have the resources to maintain your Chapter’s legacy, and if not, brainstorm ways to make it happen.

Further questions about officer transitions? Contact the vice president of Chapter development.

Fundraising

Learn how to unify your Chapter, earn money and support causes through fundraising.

Fundraising is a great way to benefit your Chapter or another organization. Through fundraising you can send members to Regional Conferences and National events, bring speakers to your school, purchase access to PRSA webinars and support causes. Fundraisers give you valuable event planning and advocacy experience, all while enhancing your Chapter’s legacy and uniting members behind a common goal.

Fundraising Ideas

Browse the FUNdraising Playbook and Sponsorship Guide or search Chapter News to find out how other Chapters have raised funds. Start a conversation about fundraising with other PRSSA members on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re a Chapter president, hop on the Google Group and ask other presidents what they’ve done to raise funds for their Chapters.

Meetings and Events

Browse a list of ways to make meetings exciting and better attended.

Chapter meetings and events are among the most important tools you have for recruiting and motivating members. The ideas below can help you address the different interests of your members while also giving them a range of opportunities to learn.

Establish Basics

If possible, meet at a consistent time and location so members can always have it in their schedules.

Adequately Publicize Chapter Meetings

There are many media you can use to properly promote your Chapter meetings such as:

  • Mass Chapter emails.
  • Social media.
  • Campus newspaper.
  • College bulletin boards, message boards, broadcast emails, etc.
  • Professors and classroom presentations.
  • Flyers.
  • Magnets for dormitory refrigerators.
  • Bookmarks for the campus textbook store.
  • Word-of-mouth.

Planning Tips

  • Create an agenda with specific objectives and goals for your meeting. See a sample in the Chapter Handbook.
  • Avoid group discussion of matters that only pertain to a small portion of those in attendance.
  • Be punctual regarding start and end times.
  • Have one person lead the meeting.
  • At the end of each agenda item, briefly summarize what has been accomplished and decided, emphasizing due dates and action items.

Chapter leaders frequently ask what type of events they can host and/or how to keep meetings fresh and creative. Here are our tips:

  • Survey members or have a Chapter brainstorming session at the beginning of the planning year to find out what they are interested in learning at meetings and what they expect to get out of their membership.
  • Invite a professor or local professional to speak. Topics can include:
    • Job and internship advice
    • Résumé and portfolio building
    • Mock interviews
    • Ethics
    • Diversity
    • Industry-focused public relations (entertainment, health care, nonprofit, government, corporate, etc.)
    • Agency vs. in-house public relations
  • Host a case study competition. Create teams with members or invite nearby Chapters to join.
  • Take your Chapter on an agency visit. These are a great way for your members to network, learn and get a taste of work life in public relations.
  • Plan an after-meeting dinner, have a holiday party, host a Homecoming tailgate or organize a Chapter retreat.
  • Bring your membership together to participate in a PRSSA National Twitter chat.

Pacesetter Chapter Recognition

Receive recognition for your Chapter’s successes.

The Pacesetter recognizes a Chapter’s success in the areas of membership, national participation and/or Chapter development. Chapters may be nominated by members or the PRSSA National Committee.

Learn More

Recruiting

Learn about some creative approaches other Chapters have used to recruit new members.

Every Chapter needs effective recruiting techniques to attract enthusiastic new members. If you’re at a small Chapter, your goal is to build membership; if you’re at a large Chapter, you’re probably seeking diversity and retention. Remember, you do not have to be in public relations to join our Society. PRSSA includes students with diverse majors such as communications, marketing, political science, journalism, digital media, graphic design and more.

As future communications professionals, we are uniquely equipped to design strategic campaigns that will educate and motivate our target audiences. Apply those skills to your recruiting efforts. Read below to learn about some creative approaches other Chapters have used to recruit new members.

  • Recruitment Materials - Review the five tipsseven benefitsnine best recruitment practices and the recruitment poster before you start recruiting. Then share the recruitment brochure with prospective members. Full packet download: Recruitment Packet 2019-2020. Also utilize the documents below.
  • Recruitment Reception - Invite prospective members to a reception where officers and Advisers talk about PRSSA benefits and how to get involved. Use the Member Benefits Presentation.
  • Classroom Visits - Have officers visit classes and briefly talk about PRSSA benefits, opportunities and events. They also should mention how to get involved and distribute the recruitment brochure.
  • Student Activity Fairs - Set up a booth and have officers available to answer questions. Display publications and other materials as well as pictures from past events. Provide a signup sheet so you can get names and contact information from prospective members.
  • Professor/Faculty Reminders - Put PRSSA announcements in professor/faculty mailboxes. Ask them to remind students about meetings and activities. You may want to attend a faculty meeting at the beginning of the year to explain the organization and the role you would like them to play.
  • Prospective Member Mailing - Obtain a list of journalism/communications students from your department office or office of admissions. Send a letter to the students explaining the benefits of PRSSA membership and invite them to your first meeting. Consider doing this via email and social media too.
  • Freshmen Mailing - Obtain a list of freshmen or prospective members from your department. Send a letter to the students about PRSSA and invite them to your first meeting. Be sure to have an email list ready so you can connect with freshmen electronically.
  • Other Departments - Do not limit PRSSA just to public relations majors. Recruit students in other departments such as marketing, advertising, political science, communications or business. PRSSA is not just for public relations students.
  • Extra Credit - Talk to faculty members to see if they will offer their students extra credit for becoming a PRSSA member or for attending meetings and events.
  • Information Packets - Include letters from Chapter officers and Advisers, brochures and newsletters, a  Chapter awards list, information on how to join the Chapter and PRSSA National information. Send by mail, email, or hand out in person. Provide copies of the Membership Involves You Brochure.
  • Brochures - Create a brochure that explains the benefits of PRSSA membership. You can distribute it during class visits, student activity fairs and recruitment receptions as well as share it on social media and send it electronically.
  • Newsletter - Use your first newsletter to entice prospective members. Write articles about membership benefits and upcoming Chapter activities. Send your newsletter to prospective members, especially first-year students interested in public relations.
  • School Media - Run an announcement in the school newspaper, campus radio and TV station, or school website.
  • YouTube Video - Create a YouTube video promoting your Chapter. Incorporate humor. See this example from Ohio University.
  • Merchandise - Hand out PRSSA merchandise such as pens, cups or sunglasses, or put your meeting times on the back of a coupon for a free drink or free pizza at a local company. Everyone loves swag, get creative with this opportunity. Also try to be relevant regarding what students need.
  • Dorms and Residence Halls - College students love free food. Offer food and information at the dorms as a way to engage prospective members.
  • Partnerships - Partner with another on-campus organization to create an attractive booth at organization recruiting events.
  • Social Media - Host a contest that engages new recruits. Have current Chapter members tag others online and invite them to an upcoming event or meeting. Reward participants and newcomers with a prize or food.

Need more ideas? Contact the vice president of chapter developmentvice president of member services, or start a conversation through PRSSA social media. You also can see the best recruitment ideas generated at the Leadership Assembly in the Chapter Handbook.

Find out which PRSA Chapter sponsors your PRSSA Chapter, and learn how to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship.

Every PRSSA Chapter has a PRSA sponsor Chapter. While you may reach out to any PRSA Chapter, your first and closest contact should be with your PRSA sponsor Chapter. You can look up your sponsor Chapter below or browse a full list of Chapters on the PRSA website.

It’s important that your PRSSA Chapter works to develop and maintain a strong relationship with your sponsor Chapter. They can offer you networking, career mentoring, speakers for Chapter meetings and countless other opportunities. In return, you can offer them reverse mentoring, volunteers and assistance with social media or other activities. See the PRSSA/PRSA Relationship Manual (PDF) for ways to strengthen your connection with your PRSA sponsor Chapter.

Find Your Sponsor Chapter

View the PDFs below to determine your sponsor Chapter.

Brand Guidelines, Logos and Templates

Download the PRSSA logo, brand guidelines and templates.

The following guidelines can help your Chapter use the PRSSA logo in a way that accurately reflects the Society’s brand and standards of professionalism. Use it to guide you as you design business cards, letterheads or other communication materials. Note that the recently updated PRSSA logo should now be used for all Chapter materials.

Download the PRSA Brand Identity Guidelines for instructions on logo usage and writing standards. If you are having difficulty downloading, or if you need the logos in a different format, contact PRSSA Headquarters.

Logos and Tag Lines for Print

Preferred PRSSA Logo

Alternate PRSSA Logo

PRSSA tag line, two lines

PRSSA tag line, one line

Logos and Tag Lines for Web

Preferred PRSSA Logo

Alternate PRSSA Logo

PRSSA tag line, two lines

PRSSA tag line, one line

Templates

PRSSA templates may be adjusted according to the PRSSA branding guidelines to incorporate your Chapter logo.

PRSSA Corporate Typefaces

Use the Franklin Gothic typeface for all PRSSA National identification media. The Franklin Gothic family is used on letterheads, envelopes, business cards, mailing labels and fax cover sheets. The Arial font is recommended for HTML as well as email and other electronic copy.

Leadership Training

PRSSA offers leadership training sessions that allow you to learn from past Chapter leaders and share ideas with current Chapter leaders at International Conference. Each spring, we also offer the Leadership Assembly, where Chapter leaders get to vote on National bylaws as well as the incoming National Committee and learn how to better their Chapters.

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 PRSSA social media. Send out your questions and start a discussion. In addition, the National Committee members are excited to support you and PRSSA Headquarters staff are happy to field questions.

Graduation Honor Cords

Consider purchasing graduation honor cords from the vendors below (not associated with PRSSA). Remember: the official PRSSA color is navy blue.

 



Download Member Card and Certificate

Please remember to download your digital membership materials from your MyPRSA account. These documents are now available to all current PRSSA members via their profile. We hope retrieving these documents will be more useful since they can be accessed readily and included in online profiles and portfolios.

Please note: This means Chapters will no longer receive individual membership cards and certificates via mail.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact PRSSA Headquarters at prssa@prsa.org.