Almost two weeks into the job as PRIA National President and already members are contacting me to share your thoughts about the priorities for PRIA. These can best be categorised as:

  1. The need for PRIA to become a more proactive organisation;
  2. Connecting with peers and industry leaders to grow your knowledge and advance your career; and
  3. Help to ensure our profession's expertise is accurately valued, by building our reputation for delivering outstanding returns on investment.

While I have paraphrased your feedback, the common and underlying thread of VALUE has strongly resonated.

Any expenditure (whether time, effort or money) carries a clear and reasonable expectation of value - being a member of the PRIA is no different. Our ability to represent you offer every member the opportunity to benefit and derive maximum value, we need to embrace your feedback, opinions and contributions.

This relationship is a two-way street, so don't be shy in telling us how you'd like to derive value from your membership - and encourage your colleagues to get involved. Participation is key to realising your professional objectives and is necessary for our profession to prosper.

Delivering value is central to PRIA's motivations. It is driving every programming decision, event, education and training offering of PRIA for 2016 – this includes our:

  • exclusive boardroom lunches;
  • access to industry luminaries in the new Ignite Master Series and reinvigorated Women in PR program;
  • participating in training such as the globally recognised Measurement Evaluation and Research workshops series;
  • taking advantage of the early bird prices for the National Conference in Perth (6-8 November 2016);
  • signing up to the mentoring program (as a mentor or mentee);
  • navigating your next career move through our job board PR Central; or
  • improving your career options through the continuing professional development (CPD) program.

As the national professional organisation we act as your representative to increase the recognition of what, how and why you add value. The Australian Government expects our profession to have another 20,000 join by 2019, so we all have quite a bit of work to do to if we want to ensure that the value of our work appreciates to accommodate our growing ranks.

Our global membership networks and relationships with The Global Alliance, CIPR, ICCO, IPRA, PRSA, PRINZ, Public Affairs Asia, and 43 other peak PR and Communication bodies, will support our ability to build a strong business case for the value of your contribution.

We are determined to build on our strong base of current members by enticing those who are slogging it out in the trenches without our support to join us. We will do this by delivering valuable programs and opportunities, and fine-tuning these through your feedback.

The first tranche of the 2016 Events Program went outyesterday, with state-based details available at: QLD, NSW, VIC, NT, TAS, WA, SA, and ACT. We encourage you to browse the calendar, and begin to allocate budgets towards your own development - start entering those dates into your calendar now. 

We have a programmed event, training and professional development option, or a networking opportunity for you to choose from almost every week. The national events program, delivered by the National Office and relevant committees, is made up of each State and Territory Council, Registered Consultancy Group (RCG), New Emerging Practitioners Group, Mentoring, PRinks, and Fellow's program.

I would like to thank the hundred-strong army of volunteers and council members for their dedication and enthusiasm.

Author: Jenny Muir FPRIA, PRIA National President.