PRSSA Searches For New Members

Allison Counterman, Reporter

Officers of the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter are looking for new members.

PRSSA is a national organization that enables students to  gain professional experience in the field of public relations. Students are also connected with professionals throughout the country who have the Public Relations Society of America’s seal of approval so students can network and find internships and jobs.

A minimum of 10 members are needed  to maintain status with the prestigious PRSSA.

Vice President of the campus PRSSA Chapter, Gabriella Lengyel, said  the low member count for the new school year means more students need to get involved.

“We only have five existing members coming into this school year,” said Lengyel. “We have to get out around campus and get as many people interested in the chapter as well as definite new members as possible.”

During the 2012-2013 school year, the PRSSA Chapter had 10 official members, according to advisor Doug Martin. There were only nine official members during the 2013-2014 school year.

“We had four members graduate last spring, so we’re really down in members,” said Lengyel.

Lengyel said there are a few methods staffers will use to recruit.

“Promoting ourselves around the campus, ads in the newspaper, tables in Banks and recruitment nights would all be helpful recruiting methods,” said Lengyel. “We’ll have to do anything possible.”

Lengyel is also the Social Media Manager for the PRSSA, and she said a stronger social media presence would also help to gain more interest.

“Social media presences are the key to any business or organization’s success. It’s the era of technology and information,” said Lengyel. “Everything is online, everyone is online.”

“Aside from promoting events we’re working on, it should be an engaging, and interactive place for people with common interests to come together in the world of PR at MU,” said Lengyel.

Another idea is to target first year students who are going to need to start building resumes and portfolios of work, which are key to landing jobs and internships.

“We should definitely set up a table at the club fair in order to get the word out to all incoming first years,” said Lengyel. “They need to get involved in things early so they have a resume built up by graduation.”

Sophomore business major Katlin Vack said she had not heard of the PRSSA during the beginning of her first year, but if she did she would have joined.

Vack believes  gaining skills in promotions, working with real clients from the community, planning events planning and everything else would benefit her.

“These would probably help me with my future career,” said Vack.

Many students think they must start from the beginning of the school year, but Lengyel busts that myth.

“Students can join at any point during the school year,” said Lengyel “There is always a need [for more members].”

Vack said she  recommends other students to join the PRSSA.

“Especially if they are in the business field like me,” said Vack.

“Marketing, sports management, and business majors should join our chapter,” Lengyel said. “These majors deal with a lot of work related to PR.”

The PRSSA is a good place to turn if students have trouble finding clubs or different activities to do that will specifically benefit them with their major and future career paths, Lengyel said.

“The PRSSA is constantly doing projects, whether they are making posters, writing press releases, helping non-profits or putting on our annual fashion show,” said Lengyel.

Lengyel said the PRSSA provides real experience with actual clients, something that matters to employers and something students cannot get in the classroom alone. “The PRSSA provides students with the opportunity to serve nonprofits with promotional and public relations help.”

“The importance of this chapter is to show students how a public relations agency works in the real world,” said Lengyel.

According to, the Public Relations Society of America  consists of over 21,000 public relations and communications professionals worldwide.  PRSSA membership provides a a direct link to the PRSA.

Students are registered with the PRSSA, and through a website, they have access to many resources. Membership lasts one year. Members hold fundraisers  to earn the annual $50 per-student membership fee, and even the fundraisers are resume and portfolio-builders, Lengyel said.


[email protected]