As Carys Samuel (one of our CIPR student reps) said at last night's guest lecture, you should consider joining the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The student application form is here (in pdf format) and the annual membership fee is £35. This runs to the end of September 2009 so don't delay if you're to gain a full year's benefits.
Here's why I think you should join (most important reasons first, though you may disagree with my priorities):
- Public relations, like any other management discipline, is currently at best only semi-professional in its status. This will only change as professional standards and professional membership becomes expected. Education, qualifications, continuous professional development are all drivers of professionalisation. You can take charge of the wheel!
- A member database of close to 10,000 members - complete with contact details - is a vital resource as you seek placement experience and contacts in order to develop your experience. You'll be listed in this, too.
- You can add membership status to your CV. You're already paying much more to be a full-time student, so why not take this extra step and gain much more credibility?
- You will receive the much-improved PR Week for free as well as the CIPR member magazine, Profile.
I've been a member for ten years and will gladly answer your questions and sign your application forms.