PPRA President Adam Dvorin with members at a program in 2018 at Independence Blue Cross.

Don’t Overlook Professional Association Membership

Learn. Grow.  Test yourself

I’m a joiner.  I like belonging to things.  Clubs.  Museums.  Gardens. And, especially professional associations.

Back in the day when I worked in other people’s agencies, we were encouraged to join associations and, whether we were active or not, our annual dues were typically paid by the firm.

I was so enamored with the Philadelphia PR scene back then and I felt so lucky to have landed in it. Even as a junior pro, I made time to attend programs or work on committees and also get my work done.  I would just come in early or work late to stay on top of assignments.  Well, any one who knows me knows I’ve always liked to work in the quiet and calm of a weekend too.

Climbing a Leadership Ladder

When I was climbing the leadership ladder towards President of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA,) I chaired the membership committee several times and was Vice President of Membership at least once.

I would call people who hadn’t renewed their membership and often hear, “my employer isn’t paying my dues next year” so I’m opting out.

What?!  I couldn’t imagine, in the spirit of advancing their own careers and networks, why these individuals wouldn’t just pick up the tab themselves.  If you don’t spend your money on that, what do you spend it on?

But then I remembered as head of my own Agency, how many employees’ dues I paid in professional associations, often disappointed that the year would come and go and that they:

  • Didn’t attend programs
  • Didn’t join committees
  • Didn’t represent our Agency in the wider community
  • Didn’t take advantage of professional growth
  • Didn’t practice or develop their leadership skills

SPRYTE was recently engaged to support a substantial international happening in Philadelphia that took place last week.  We worked with many partners and competitors, ensuring its significant success.  I knew so many of the players personally, which made delivering against the project expectations much easier.  It was so rewarding and I was thinking about how I knew these individuals all these years later. Guess how? Through PPRA.  That’s what’s called a return on investment.