Contributed by Jane Putnam
I know, the thought of adding another “to do” to your ever-growing list seems a little overwhelming, but trust me, this is a worthwhile item to add to your list. Professional development is a great opportunity to learn from other experts in your field, strengthen your skills, grow your area of expertise and network—all four, crucial things to developing your career.
So, how do you get involved? The communications industry is chalk-full of opportunities for professional development, including local, regional, national and international. Some of these include, and are worth checking out for networking events, conferences and luncheons:
- Public Relations Society of America, both on a national level and local chapters. If you’re in the greater Salt Lake area, check out the SLC PRSA Chapter or the Utah County PRSA Chapter. College students, look into PRSSA at your school.
- American Advertising Federation, including national and local chapters. More info on the Utah Ad Fed is available here.
- International Association of Public Participation
- Social Media Club, including our local group, Social Media Club of Salt Lake City.
The opportunities don’t stop there! Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are great places to seek out listings of events as well as forums and online conversations about the field, what we do, tips, etc. Some of those I’ve found to be helpful include:
- LinkedIn Professional Groups
- Twitter chats: #prchat – more available here
- Facebook groups, such as Community Manager, Advocate, and Evangelist
The lists and opportunities can go on and on. Tell us, what are your favorite professional development opportunities? Where have you learned or gained the most? Let us know in the comments.