Friday, October 19, 2018

42 of 58 for 58: Support Your Professional Association

I’ve belonged to more than 25 professional organizations over the course of my career.

Why? I believe in supporting the associations that serve professions I claim to be a member of. Currently, that’s two. One is public relations. The other is teaching/consulting in business communications.

This commitment means I don’t just belong. I serve too. I help with registration. I moderate panels. I speak. I offer to review conference submissions.

I’ve always done what I can given my other personal and professional commitments. I must.

How can I claim membership in a professional organization if I don’t act to support its efforts? I cannot.

Professional associations flounder when members don’t volunteer. Programs aren’t developed and promoted. Members leave. New members aren’t recruited. It’s painful to watch.

When these associations wither away, practitioners have nowhere to go to break bread. To discuss common challenges. To find new opportunities. To reconnect with friends and make new ones.

I’ve seen how the profession suffers when its association die. No one speaks for individual practitioners. No one advocates for best practices.

For all these reasons, I support my professional associations.

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