Get more out of your career with lifelong learning through PRSA

Contributed by PRSA Central Iowa ethics chair, Kathy Krafka Harkema, APR.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on the many things we’re thankful for as members of PRSA. One of those is the training offered through PRSA.

As the hours of daylight shorten, now’s a good time to take advantages of webinars available to PRSA members. PRSA webinars are like having your own professional development toolbox, as close as your smartphone or keyboard. Search for the professional development calendar of events, and on-demand public relations training at Some webinars are live, and view others on-demand any time.

No budget for training or travel? No problem. Many of these webinars are already included at no additional charge as a direct benefit of your PRSA membership. PRSA members typically enjoy a reduced rate for training offered for a fee.

Free webinars available to PRSA members in the coming weeks include:

Nov. 6: Get more media coverage: quick changes that yield big results

Nov. 15: Master the art of the storyteller

Dec. 11: Elevate the quality of your performance.

If you’ve made it your goal to stay up-to-date on the art and science of being a top PR practitioner today, leverage the many tools and resources PRSA offers, like webinars.

Whether you’ve earned your APR or studied PR in college, or have learned the skills on-the-job, there’s always something more to learn. Our profession continually evolves. So take advantage of PRSA courses and the ability to expand your expertise.

On-demand PRSA courses help you learn about how to communicate with management, how to write for greater reach and results as well as crafting the perfect pitch. PRSA webinars also cover management-related topics ranging from how to give positive feedback, how to effectively acknowledge ideas, and how to build an effective crisis response in an omni-channel age.

For those who attended the annual OctoPRfest Oct. 18 at Wellmark in downtown Des Moines, it attracted one of our largest single-day gatherings for our chapter. Hats off to incoming President Teresa Roof, APR who led the event, and everyone who had a hand in planning and carrying out the productive day of learning and networking. If you attended our OctoPRfest this year, give yourself credit for taking time to invest in your own professional development. If you missed it, plan to join us in October 2019, or at one of our many chapter events during the year.

If you’re starting your New Year’s resolutions early, consider earning your accreditation in public relations.  The APR is a respected accreditation. It symbolizes that you’re a well-rounded PR professional, well-versed in applying the many key aspects of PR today, ranging from research, to ethics to reputation management, crisis communications, integrated planning and reporting of results. Our chapter offers an excellent series of courses to prepare you for taking the grueling APR exam. It’s worth your time to take part in our APR study course, because you’ll hear from others who have conquered the certification, who will equip you with helpful information and tips to prepare for your APR exam.

Feel like you don’t have time to study for and take the APR exam? Make time. It’s worth it. Like anything that matters, no matter how busy you are or think you are, you’ll be glad you made the commitment to earn your APR. It’s a lifelong feeling of accomplishment that is a respected professional accreditation that will help you earn the skills and respect you deserve in your career.

The percentage of those in our chapter who have earned the APR is among the very best in the USA. Help us move up in that prestigious national ranking by pledging to earn your APR in 2019. And once you’ve earned it, make and take the time to keep up your APR through recertification every three years. It’s easy to recertify. Simply take part in training, attend meetings or volunteer to teach an APR prep course or judge awards for another PRSA chapter. It only takes giving back to others and updating your learning a few times over a few years and submitting your results to PRSA along with a small recertification processing fee to retain your hard-earned APR certification. Contact chapter incoming accreditation chair Dawn Buzynski, APR, at for more details.

Our chapter is one of the strongest in the country, and that’s a credit to our many hard-working, dedicated members who uphold our reputation for excellence every day through their actions and their volunteerism. It’s a pleasure to work with the many talented professionals from across Iowa who volunteer on behalf of our PRSA chapter.

Let’s make sure you’re getting all you can out of PRSA, too. It’s up to you. Why just sit on the sidelines? If you’ve always wanted to do more, now’s the time to step up. We’re always looking for volunteers to lend a hand. It’s rewarding to help make a difference in the lives of others through PRSA. So consider how you can get more involved in PRSA in the coming year to get more out of your membership and your career. Your chapter board of directors team is just a phone call or email or PRSA gathering away! We look forward to seeing, hearing, and involving you as our members in 2019.


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