My Lesson Learned at National Conference

October 20, 2010

As I write this post I am sitting at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. I am waiting to head to the airport after an amazing five days at the PRSSA National Conference.

Not only was this experience educational, but also life changing. I got to experience Washington D.C. (last time I was here I was on my 8th grade field trip and we were moved together like cattle), become closer to my PRKent friends and learn more about myself and what I wanted out of a career in Public Relations.

Washington, D.C.

Image Courtesy of Google Images

The past five days were packed with amazing sessions that outstanding professionals prepared for us. I made sure to sit down with the program and map out exactly what sessions I wanted to attend, while also making sure to fit time in to experience life in D.C. I mean come on, what is a trip to D.C. without checking out the city?

When I saw there was a session being offered on Values-Driven Communication that was going to talk about nonprofit public relations, I knew I had to attend. From reading my blog it’s obvious I have an interest in nonprofit public relations, but as I move closer to graduation I start to second-guess myself on what I truly want to do. Is working in nonprofit public relations something I would truly enjoy? I know I enjoy working for a cause, but volunteering can be completely different than a full time career!

Three panelists that shared their experiences in nonprofit public relations held the session.

Although this session gave great tips and insight about a career in nonprofit public relations, it also taught me something much more. It taught me that to be able to enjoy working in nonprofit public relations it takes a special kind of person.

Seventy years ago there were only a few thousand nonprofits, and today there are almost 2 million. All of the millions of people who make those 2 million nonprofits successful are not in a career for the money, benefits or perks. They are in it to make a difference. Those millions of people are so passionate about the cause they are working towards, it makes me want to jump in and help out.

There are also great advantages to working in nonprofit public relations.

  • Your career is something that is important to you
  • Your career links to value
  • You work with great people who all share the same passion for a cause
  • You get experience in all aspects of public relations

Of course there are also disadvantages to working in nonprofit public relations.

  • Small budget
  • Little resources
  • Fundraising
  • Having to wear multiple hats in the workplace

After the session I know that the people who work for a nonprofit deserve a special thanks. Whether that person is working in religion, healthcare or politics, they are the backbone in making this world a better place.

Thanks Washington, D.C. and the PRSSA National Conference for showing me that no matter if I work in corporate PR, agency PR or nonprofit PR, I am lucky to be entering such a great career field filled with amazing professionals.

2010 PRSSA National Conference Logo

Image Courtesy of Google Images

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4 Responses to “My Lesson Learned at National Conference”

  1. gijmaj said

    I worked 4 years in non-profit sector in Georgia. It was both food fun and useful experience, leading to personal and professional development. Working in non-profit is really challenging, but once you succeed, you’ll have more opportunities and larger-scale impact on the society. Small budget is a problem on one hand, but also it encourages to use resources efficiently, promotes volunteering. Shortly, you earn how to make unlimited success with limited resources 🙂
    for example, how to organize activity of environmental protection and involve more than 50 persons for minimal expenses.

  2. Thanks for the comment! After learning more about nonprofit PR at the conference, I can see how it can really help personal and professional development. I think it is a great field to work in if you want to have a wide range of experience!

  3. Rachel Polchek said

    I like your positive outlook on the PR field! I agree with you, I think nonprofit PR does take a special, passionate kind of person. I used to think it was what I wanted to do, but now I’m not so sure. I think I’d really enjoy the agency life. That’s part of why I chose PR though… there are plenty of options.

  4. Thanks, Rachel! I agree with you. There are plenty of options in a career in PR. I think I would enjoy agency life as well. I love being busy and working on multiple tasks, which I think working in an agency could provide me. I do think nonprofit PR could do that as well, since you wear multiple hats!

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