Ok - now here is a shameless plug for the wonderful people of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and many of the other governing bodies, if I may call them that, around the world.
PRIA is the peak body for Public Relations and Communication professionals in Australia. The institute represents and provides professional support and recognition to various individual practitioners and consultancies, across Australia.
As a student member these bodies are quite an important tool in many aspects. They provide networking opportunities, provide further educational training, conduct information seminars and employment assistance.
The institute maintains high ethical standards and all members are required to make a commitment to a stringent Code of Ethics. These Codes of Ethics are governed by a senior group of practitioners. The Code of Ethics also governs consultancy members. This is to ensure that the institutes beliefs about what is right and wrong are upheld by its members.
PRIA also provides members with professional accreditation, and recognition and maintains a continuous professional development program, where members undertake relevant study of up to 20 hours a year to maintain the high standards that PRIA desire for the industry. The PRIA website identify seven main areas of continual development as:-
- Formal Courses (minimum of 1 hour) - Lectures & seminars conducted by the PRIA including conventions; in-house training sessions by employers; and courses provided by other recognised educational, professional or industrial bodies.
- Formal Individual Study - includes correspondence and off-campus courses, programmed learning courses and audio-courses.
- Formal Discussions - includes committees, discussion groups and meetings organised by the PRIA as well as professional, educational or industrial bodies involved in the preparation and review of professional material.
- Preparation of Lectures - of a relevant nature for presentation at PRIA or other professional, education or industrial functions.
- Written Materials - preparation of articles or papers on public relations or professional research study projects for publication.
- Board and Institute - active involvement with either the National Board or State and Territory Institutes by serving on committees or sub-committees.
- Unstructured CPD - reading of relevant books, periodicals, journals, technical bulletins, and research reports, as well as discussions with specialists on relevant matters.
Volunteer committees comprising members from each State division, organise and run networking, information and training events and programs each year, to help improve members professional skills, business and personal networks and opportunities. As a student or recent graduate this is an excellent chance to meet potential employers or arrange work placement, learn more potential skills and to create a greater understanding as to how work in PR after university is like. One of the most inspiring things about PRIA is no matter what your level within the PR industry; it will always have something to offer you as a consultant.
Shameless plug now over!