PRowl Public Relations staff members have encouraged students to volunteer. Volunteering at an organization or an agency is a great way to gain experience in public relations without having an internship. Even if you do have an internship, volunteering is a way to gain additional experience on the side.
Volunteering for events allows you to obtain experience in several hours or in a day or two. For example, I will be volunteering for the judging event for the Philadelphia ADDY Awards this Saturday. From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., I will help the judging process run smoothly. Not only will I gain insight into how an event such as the ADDY Awards is run, but I will also have the opportunity to meet and socialize with judges and others during the day.
Here are some tips for how to find events to volunteer for.
1. Universities and departments within universities often send out volunteer opportunities to their students. I was made aware of the ADDY Awards opportunity through the School of Communications and Theater here at Temple University. Take advantage of these openings as soon as possible because students rush to volunteer for these events right away.
2. Look on the websites of professional communications organizations in Philadelphia, such as PPRA or PRSA, to find out if these organizations have events planned. Look for a contact associated with the event or even with the organization itself and send him or her an email. Inquire whether or not the organization needs assistance at the event and let the contact know you would love to help!
3. Do you have any friends or contacts that work at city-oriented organizations, such as Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) or Greater Philadelphia Marketing Tourism Corporation (GPTMC)? Organizations like these are always hosting events. Let your contacts know if they ever need help at an event that you are willing and able to do so! I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a convention for PCVB through a friend who works there.
Do you have any additional suggestions on where to find events to volunteer for? Share them with our readers!