Job postings often list “membership with [insert professional membership organization here] considered an asset”. But what does it mean to have an employee participate in a professional communications organization, and why should employers care?
When we think about professional membership, we often associate it with the opportunity to access professional development opportunities. But the internet has improved access to learning opportunities, allowing us to pursue information about trends, case studies, context, tactics and emotional intelligence growth anywhere at any time – for free. It’s time for the value proposition to evolve, and with it, employers’ idea of how professional membership aligns with their business goals.
The Canadian Public Relations Society is a professional membership association for communicators, community engagement professionals, reputation managers, and strategic planners. The organization and the members collaborate to maintain the highest standards of professional communications practice. The National body partners with local chapters across the country as well as Global Alliance – a confederation of the world’s major PR and communication management associations and institutions – to provide employers with the following advantages.
The employer value of professional memberships
- CPRS members are accountable to a Code of Professional Standards focused on ethics, and are encouraged to follow a strategic communications planning formula that includes thorough research, evidence-based decision-making and alignment with business goals. This helps organizations avoid the costs associated with unprepared reputation managers, such as mishandled social media influencer strategies.
- Employees gain access to diverse tools and insights from a national network of communications professionals who can help with brainstorming and problem solving.
- Members keep up with quality-assured information sharing so communicators can integrate innovative trends, tools and best practices to position organizations as industry leaders.
Other advantages of having CPRS members on your team:
- Access to professional growth pathways that guide communicators through junior to senior levels of practice
- Certification opportunities that include rigorous evaluation of skills in order to provide tangible evidence of ethics, critical thinking, comprehensive knowledge, and current events proficiency
- Discernment of fake news and advocacy of truth and ethical transparency
- Measurable objectives that demonstrate return on investment
- Mentorship opportunities to improve employee skills as leaders and guides
- Recognition opportunities that highlight the caliber of the organization
- Consistency with the Canadian Press writing style that improves organizational credibility
In addition, members have a learning mindset that motivates them to be actively engaged in advocacy for the standards above.
The role of an employer
High-performing professionals want to work for employers who demonstrate their commitment to high professional standards – beyond a note in a job posting that professional association membership is an asset. So, how can employers help?
- Encourage active involvement – not just by directing employees to attend professional development events, but through volunteerism, certification pursuits, and participation in opportunities to advance the profession.
- Specify in your job posting why professional membership is an asset. For senior level positions, consider indicating accreditation is an asset.
- Consider paying for or subsidizing membership. Many of our northern Alberta members have shared they let their membership lapse in recent years because their employers will no longer pay for their membership. At more than $350 for most professional communications associations, most employees can’t pay for it out of pocket in our current economy. We understand this may not be feasible for all employers.
- Provide time for employees to participate. Employees are increasingly busy, using their work time to demonstrate their value to the organization and assure their own job security. Help employees feel they have adequate time during work hours to participate or volunteer. For example, provide an hour or two each month dedicated to this purpose.
- Invite opportunities for internal knowledge sharing about current events, trends and practices on a regular basis.
- Consider enrolling your organization in our Employer Group Membership program , which offers your employees a 10 to 25 per cent discount on membership. The program also provides your organization with discounts for job postings, awards entries, communications news subscriptions and employee career advancement opportunities. Learn more.
Want to learn more about employer relationships with the Canadian Public Relations Society? Connect with our Partnerships Director, Darrell Winwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.