PR Society of America, in the “spirit of generosity and cheer” that marks the “holiday season,” has launched “Six Weeks of Giving” as part of a year-end membership drive.
Non-members can “unwrap” six webinars normally costing $250 each for non-members. They are also being offered free membership in a professional interest section (up to $60 in value) and a waiver of the usual $65 initiation fee.
New members would only have to pay the $255 annual dues. The dues were raised $30 in 2012.
The first “unwrapped resource,” a webinar on measurement, became available Nov. 18.
Updated 11/20/2013: Promotional materials for new members do not note that national board and officer posts are only open to those who become accredited, a process that costs $285 for members and involves a “Readiness Review” and a 3.25-hour computer-administered multiple-choice test.
The promotional materials also do not tell prospective members they will be unable to join the Board of Ethics and Professional Development until they become APR.
Stephanie Cegielski, VP-PR of the Society, said the need for members to have their APRs “is in materials that are publicly available.”
This website has asked for a link to such materials and has also asked that the issue of non-APRs being barred from the Ethics Board be addressed.
The first webinar unveiled is titled “Barcelona Principle #1: Learn how to ensure that measurement is done in a manner that is methodologically sound and can live up to the greatest scrutiny from your boss, client or CEO.”
A new webinar will be given as a “present” to prospective members each successive Monday through Dec. 23. Lapsed members can rejoin by paying a $35 reinstatement fee plus the dues.
Those with less than two years’ experience in PR can join as associate members at $115 and also receive free membership in a professional interest section (except for the Counselors Academy).
Full-time PR graduate students can join as associate member/graduate student, for $60 dues and also receive a free section membership.
Group memberships are available for organizations with five or more Society memberships.
Members who have been in the Society at least five years and are now employed less than 50% of the time can qualify for retirement status at an annual fee of $50.
The Society had 20,266 members in 2000 and currently has more than 21,000.
Mickey Nall, 2013 chair, in a 2,351-word interview with Bulldog Reporter Dec. 10, 2012, said the renewal rate of the Society is “in the 73% range” which he said “is high for an organization like this.” Most members have their dues paid by their employers, he noted.
A renewal rate of 73% means the Society must replace about 5,700 departing members each year to remain even.
A record of such members used to be in permanent form in the annual printed members directory but the directory was discontinued after the 2005 edition.
Lapsed members are dropped from the current online directory.