Craving connection is innately human. So why is it that, often, we are left to pursue our careers without adequate support or genuine community? Professional networking groups like National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) aim to bridge that gap, providing a support system for school communicators. On a recent episode of Peachjar Extra Credit, Matthew met up with NSPRA President Cathy Kedjidjian to discuss the personal and professional benefits of joining a professional network group.
Matthew attributes his career successes and development to his involvement in networking groups on state and national levels. Cathy echoes that sentiment, sharing about the friends she’s made and the path she’s found by first finding her people. The phrase, “we’re better together,” is intricately woven into the mission of these organizations. With state and national chapters focused on meeting the needs of members so individually and collectively they can thrive. School PR roles are challenging, so having a reliable network that can provide resources and support is integral to success in this field. People in similar school communication roles know better than anyone what you are going through and can forecast potential challenges your district may face. What you are experiencing as a school communications professional has likely occurred before, and someone in your network could have the answer you’ve been searching for.
What does membership look like? You are invited to join committees, get involved with various volunteer endeavors, attend local and national conferences, and more! Matthew encourages members of networking groups to dive deeper into the offerings of membership, while underscoring the impact conferences have. Conferences offer a welcoming environment for discussion, resources and support, and community building. Going to conferences like WSPRA or NSPRA allows you to broaden your professional horizons, as you hear others speak about their experiences that differ from your own, thus enabling you to better yourself and your district. Often, attending a conference can provide a solution that otherwise you wouldn't have thought about implementing.
As in most aspects of life, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Why work harder when you can work smarter? Taking advantage of resources and various professional networking memberships can be integral to your personal and professional success. Consider getting plugged into a professional network today!