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 members 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 National 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 National 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 National 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 (5–7 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.