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How I Leveled Up My OCPRSA Membership by Giving Back

PR Gives Back, Spring 2019by Carly Owens, OCPRSA member

“Get involved in your local PRSA chapter by joining a committee. It’ll enhance your member experience.”

Did you roll your eyes when you read that? I know I did the first time I heard it. However, I’ve learned that there’s a whole lot of truth behind that statement.

I was fairly new to OCPRSA, and while I was a member of PRSSA in college, joining still felt intimidating. Everyone seemed to know each other already and though I was “networking,” it didn’t always seem like I was making many meaningful connections.

That changed when during an event, the OCPRSA chapter president encouraged attendees to get involved by joining a committee, and for the first time it piqued my interest. Then, I found out that there was a committee that combined two of my great loves—giving back to the community and event planning—and I was sold.

I’ve been a part of the OCPRSA Community Service Committee for a few years now, and it’s been more rewarding, professionally and personally, than I ever expected.

Each year we plan one or two PR Gives Back events that pair PR pros with local nonprofits for a pro-bono communications strategy session. It’s such a neat event because it gives us a look into just how many people and organizations want to make Orange County a better place for all who live here.

Professionally, being a part of the committee has helped me hone leadership skills and build a strong network of both public relations leaders and nonprofit representatives.

On a more personal level, it’s allowed me to go beyond just “networking” as we give back to our community by helping organizations thrive. To date, we’ve been proud to host nonprofits representing an array of industries including veteran affairs, animal rescue, healthcare and more.

One of the most surprising benefits of joining a committee is that OCPRSA events became much less intimidating for me to attend. Chances are, I knew someone at an event, but even if I didn’t, being part of a committee gave me a sense of ownership toward my membership. I wasn’t just a member to add it to my resume or receive a discount for events, I am a member who actively contributes to the organization and our community.

I’m so excited to help plan the next PR Gives Back event and invite all local PR pros, PR students and nonprofit representatives to join me Wednesday, November 6 from 5-7 p.m. at WeWork in Costa Mesa located at 695 Town Center Dr, Suite 1200.

If you’ve been looking for a way to get involved beyond just attending events, participating in PR Gives Back is a great starting point. Beyond that, OCPRSA has several committees that utilize all types of skill sets and are a great way to take your membership to the next level. Cliché as it sounds, getting involved has enhanced my member experience tenfold.

To learn more about attending PR Gives Back, or to nominate a nonprofit, click here.

To learn more about becoming an OCPRSA member and getting involved in a committee, click here.

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