What is it?

Counselors Academy is the PRSA Professional Interest Section focused on the business of agency PR for senior level agency owners and leaders and for senior practitioners who run a solo consultancy. Members have the opportunity to further their professional development and improve their agencies' success within an exclusive, collegial network. Counselors exchange ideas and learn from each other as well as from industry leaders throughout North America and abroad.

Who can join?

  • Membership is restricted to those in leadership (principal, officer, senior vice-president, etc.) of a public relations agency/firm; or those who own a solo practice; or those who lead a department or organization rendering public relations services to clients on a fee basis.

  • You have filled one of these roles full-time for at least one year and must be providing public relations counsel.

  • You must be a current member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).

  • If you are not an Accredited member of PRSA or CPRS, you must have 10 years of experience in our industry with at least one year in senior management. We also require three letters of recommendation as part of the application process for non-Accredited applicants.

How do I join?

Start the process here: Join Now. You’ll fill out an application that will be reviewed to determine if you meet our qualifications. 

who may I speak with before joining? 

We encourage you to reach out to a member of the Executive Committee. The ExComm leads, plans and oversees all the events and services of our section. 

What is Spring ConferencE?

This is our premier learning and networking experience and is what sets Counselors apart. It is specifically designed (by our members) to be the learning and networking experience that arms agency leaders with ideas, inspiration and intelligence to grow their businesses and themselves as professionals. It is intensive, fast-paced and dynamic – just like our members. 

What are the other benefits of membership?

Active members find they benefit tremendously from networking and collaborating with other members throughout the year. Through this website, our Facebook page and MyPRSA forum, as well as informal member-to-member discussions, we are able to share advice, ideas and information on products, agency-related issues and changes within our industry affecting our clients or agency. 

In addition, many of the benefits of membership are intangibles and difficult to describe. But put it this way, when you join Counselors, you become part of a tribe of senior level PR professionals who face similar challenges and opportunities and support one another. 

I’m a member but I’m not receiving any communications from Counselors Academy. Why is that?

In order to receive emails from Counselors so you stay informed of all programs and news, please update your PRSA profile now and select to receive Membership emails. If that doesn’t solve the problem, please contact the Membership Chair on the ExComm for help.

What our members say:

“Here’s what’s different about Counselors. You’ve got a bunch of business leaders all in the same profession, but they don’t act like competitors. Instead of fighting each other over a piece of the pie, we’re all trying to grow the pie so we all get a bigger piece ourselves.”
- Rob Biesenbach, Communications Pro, Writer, Author, Keynote Speaker

“Counselors is the one conference I would pay to attend every year because you’re surrounded by people who have faced the same challenges and opportunities you’ve faced. They offer advice based on their real-world experience. It’s the best investment you will make in yourself as a business owner.”
- Heather Whaling, President, Geben Communication

“It’s been a wonderful thing to meet all the people globally through Counselors Academy. We’ve pitched business with people and have done business with people and it’s been an enormous network for us.”

- Indra Gardiner Bowers, Founder and CEO, i.d.e.a and past-chair, CAPRSA