The Austin PR scene offers plenty of opportunities for both agency and in-house PR professionals to network and learn.
Austin has been booming in the past few years, and with that growth Austin has become the home to more and more professional communicators, be they employed in agencies or in-house serving companies in the commercial, public or non-profit sector.
In what follows I present a list of opportunities for PR professionals to connect with one another and learn in Austin. At the current time most organizations mentioned are busy preparing to switch their programming back from remote sessions only to at least partial on-site activities.
Except for PR Fight club, all organizations are membership organizations that ask a membership fee; their programming is however more often than not also accessible to non-members – who then need to pay (more) to attend.
Public Relations Society of America
PRSA Austin is the Austin chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The PRSA brand is a household name for American PR practitioners. Events organized by PRSA Austin offer ample opportunities to network and learn from peers. [full disclosure: I am a Board Member with PRSA Austin].
More information: PRSA Austin website
International Association of Business Communicators
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has a value proposition that is very similar to PRSA’s. One important difference is that the IABC is unlike PRSA a global organization. Until COVID19 broke out IABC Austin activities were centered around its Networking 9 format where people could sign up to have dinner at a restaurant and talk about the topic of the evening.
More information: IABC Austin website
American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association (AMA) caters exclusively to marketers. Although more and more PR practitioners are incorporating owned and paid media into their mix (it was about time!) and vice versa, this convergence in the market of promotional services does not translate yet into too many people from either the ‘marketing’ or ‘PR’ side looking over the fence.
More information: AMA Austin website
Women Communicators of Austin
Women Communicators of Austin (WCA) is a champion of women in journalism, media, marketing and every other communication role. WCA offers scholarships for local college students studying communications and don’t let the name fool you, also men are welcome to join.
More information: WCA website
WCA Austin also runs the Freelance Austin site: Freelance Austin.
PR Fight Club
PR Fight Club is an informal network of senior (meaning here: at least 10 years of experience) Austin-based professionals who work in PR, marketing or the media. Members exchange experiences in a closed Facebook group and meet up once a month for a talk and drinks.
More information: network Facebook group
Association of Change Management Professionals
Next to the more generalist networks there are niche offerings available as well. The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) is a global organization that offers learning and networking opportunities for change management professionals. I consider it a valuable venue to explore for corporate communications professionals that want to build their change communications chops.
More information: ACMP Texas website
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