The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
is the world's largest organization for Public Relations professionals. The Society has nearly 32,000 professional and student members, and is based out of New York City. Its members are organized into more than 100 Chapters and represent business and industry, technology, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations.(1)

Chartered in 1947, PRSA's primary objectives are to advance the standards of the Public Relations profession and to provide members with professional development opportunities through continuing education programs, information exchange forums and research projects conducted on the national and local levels (2).


How PRSA is Organized

As noted above, PRSA is organized into more than 100 Chapters nationwide, 19 professional interest sections and affinity groups, which represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has nearly 300 Chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States.(2)

PRSA is a member of the
Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, an association with a mission to enhance the Public Relations profession and its practitioners throughout the world. This framework made up of over 40 professional associations around the world (4) which includes the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), an orgnization based in Toronto, Ontario which is comprised of 1,800 professional Public Relations practitioners and student members.(5)

The PRSA is also comprised of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). With approximately 9,000 members, CIPR is the largest public relations institute in Europe and is the UK’s leading public relations association.(6)


PRSA Ethical Code


The PRSA ethical code applies to all members and outlines the following code:
  • Professional Values
  • Principles of Conduct
  • Commitment and Compliance

This statement presents the core values of PRSA members and, more broadly, of the public relations profession. The values are as follows:

- ADVOCACY
- HONESTY
- EXPERTISE
- INDEPENDENCE
- LOYALTY
- FAIRNESS.

Every member is required to sign a copy of the ethical code before becoming a member of the PRSA. The consequences for misconduct can include membership revocation (7)

There are criticisms of the PRSA and its Code of Ethics. Parkinson contends that the PRSA Member Code of Ethics ignores the obligation of every profession to hold values and recognize obligations that are unique to their particular profession. In other words, the PRSA Member Code of Ethics may be a code of personal or public ethics but it is certainly not a code of professional ethics.(8)

PRSA Objectives

With the vision to unify, strengthen and advance the profession of public relations, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has established itself as the pre-eminent organization that builds value, demand and global understanding for public relations.
PRSA builds the public relations profession and the public relations professional in three core areas:

I. Advancing the Profession
II. Strengthening the Society
III. Establishing Global Leadership (9)

Along with these objectives, the Public Relations Society of America has been diligent in taking action on recommendations involving research and education. The PRSA has formed a research council, which involves a methodology to measure and evaluate public opinion, gives awards to outstanding research in Public Relations, and a summary in important research findings in the social sciences. (10)

Membership

Eligibility for Membership


To qualify for membership to the PRSA, a considerable time (at least 50%) must be devoted to the paid professional practice of public relations or to the teaching or administration of public relations curriculum in an Accredited college or university

You can either join as a member, or as one of four types of Associate members.

1. Member: A member must have two or more years experience in public relations. The annual fee is $225 and may include initiation fees.

2. Associate Member (AM1)
Less than one year experience in public relations. AM1 members are automatically upgraded to AM2 after one year of membership. The dues are $115 annually.

3. Associate Member (AM2)
An AM2 must have one to two years experience in public relations. AM2 members are automatically upgraded to Member after one year of membership. The dues are $155 annually.

4. Associate Member, PRSSA Graduate (AMPG)
You must be an active PRSSA member at the time of graduation. Your application must be submitted within two years of graduating or up to five months before graduation. AMPG Members are automatically upgraded to Member after two years of membership. The dues are $60 annually.

5. Associate Member, Graduate Student (AMGS)
You must be enrolled full-time in an advanced degree program for the purpose of teaching or practicing public relations. Proof of full-time matriculation is required and must be submitted with your application. You may remain an AMGS member for a maximum of six years, as long as you are a full-time student. The dues are $60 annually.(11)


External Links

www.prsa.org

References

1. Objectives. Retrieved October 18, 2008 from http://www.prsa.org/aboutUs/overviewHistory.html
2. About PSRA. Retrieved October 18, 2008 from http://www.prsa.org/aboutUs/overviewHistory.html
3. Aims of the Alliance. Retrieved October 17, 2008 from http://www.globalpr.org/about/aims.asp
4. Membership (Americas). Retrieved October 17, 2008 from http://www.globalpr.org/about/aims.asp
5. About CPRS. Retrieved October 20, 2008 http://www.cprs.ca/AboutCPRS/e_about.htm6. About CIPR. Retrieved October 19, 2008 http://www.cipr.co.uk/about/aboutframeset.htm
7. Ethics. Retrieved October 17, 2008 from http://www.prsa.org/aboutUs/ethics/index.html
8. Parkinson, M (Fall, 2001). The PRSA Code of Professional Standards and Member Code of Ethics: Why They Are Neither Professional nor Ethical, 46 (3), p27-31. Retrieved October 19,2008.
9. Mission. Retrieved October 17 from http://www.prsa.org/aboutUs/mission.html
10. (Spring, 1988). "PRSA Moves Swiftly on Research and Education Fronts". Public Relations Quarterly; 13(1) p29-31. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
11. Membership. Retrieved OCtover 18, 2009 from [[http://www.prsa.org/membership/eligibilityAndDues.html |http://www.prsa.org/membership/eligibilityAndDues.html]]