When you think of “public relations,” what sorts of images come into your head? Do you think of celebrity publicists, damage control experts, “flaks,” or even “spin doctors”? As tempting as it might be to conjure up these stereotypes, the public relations profession is far more ethical and its work more broadly influential than you might think.
Public relations is a social science and a profession that has been practiced for more than a century in the United States, thanks to pioneers including Ivy Ledbetter Lee, Edward Bernays, Doris Fleischman, Arthur Page, and Moss Kendrix. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s preeminent organization for public relations professionals. Chartered in 1947, PRSA represents, educates, sets standards of excellence, and upholds principles of ethics for its twenty-two thousand members in more than one hundred chapters nationwide.
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the preeminent organization for students interested in public relations and communications. With a membership of more than eleven thousand students and advisers, PRSSA oversees chapters at some three hundred colleges and universities across the United States and South America. If you are interested in a public relations career, PRSSA can help you to enhance your education, broaden your network, and launch your career in public relations. PRSA serves as the parent organization to PRSSA, offering professional development and networking opportunities to students and professionals.