Do you have to be a PRSA/PRSSA member to participate?
Yes, participants must be active PRSA or PRSSA members in good standing. The only exception is for APR/APR+M candidates from participating organizations who are seeking mentoring on the APR/APR+M only. These exceptions must be approved by PRSA’s Professional Development department before participating.Is there any cost associated with joining the mentor program?
No, this program is free and will always be free as a member benefit.How have members been involved in the creation of this program?
PRSA staff consulted with PRSSA leaders, New Professionals leaders, the College of Fellows, and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in developing this program. We believe we have developed a robust program that includes input and feedback from a number of audiences across the organization.What are the benefits of having a mentor?
Everyone benefits from the guidance of a more experienced mentor, especially in today’s tough job market—every little bit helps, and having a mentor helps a lot. Mentors provide exceptional learning experiences for their mentees; they have the ability to lead, inspire and motivate their mentees by expanding their mentee’s awareness, insight and perspective.
Mentors from all industries can be beneficial to a mentee’s growth; they do not have to be in the same exact industry to support and guide others.
Mentors can do a number of things for your career. They can help you build your resume, guide you on a project, and help you identify resources, including referring you to other mentors and important people in your field.
Mentors provide developing leaders with the support they might not have access to otherwise. For example, access to the mentor's personal network can give emerging leaders a chance to meet important people at a crucial time in their careers and can broaden their range of possible professional opportunities. Having a mentor provides a framework in which to raise issues, tackle challenges, and nurture growth. Will our mentor relationship be confidential?
All communication that occurs between you and your mentor via in person or electronic methods (phone, telephone, text message, email, video chat, etc.) will be just between the two of you. Is this a replacement for Chapter mentor programs?
No, PRSA still encourages Chapters to continue their own mentoring programs that work for them. The mentor program search allows mentees and mentors to search for each other by geographic location, so Chapters with and without their own mentoring programs can benefit. How are mentees and mentors paired?
Mentees will search for mentors who are experienced in areas they are seeking growth in based on their profile. Mentees will send request to potential mentors and the relationship is formed when mentors accept the invitation.
Members must first enroll as a Mentor
or both. During the enrollment process, members will select preferences for various demographics (including Mentoring Venue and Mentoring Topics) to establish their personal criteria.
A registered Mentee will visit the “Find a Mentor
” page and fill in their search criteria to search for possible Mentors. The Mentee will click the names of the potential Mentors to view their profiles. Once the Mentee has decided on a Mentor, they will click on the Mentor badge (seen below the registered Mentor's profile picture) to request that person as their Mentor. An e-mail will be sent to the Mentor alerting them that they have been requested to be a Mentor. The Mentor will be able to accept or decline the request. How long is the commitment?
Mentors and mentees agree on the time commitment at the beginning of the relationship. Some mentor relationships will consist of one conversation. Others may continue on a monthly or weekly basis for months. The length of time will depend on the level of advice or help that the mentee is looking for and your availability as a mentor.How will the mentor program be monitored?
PRSA staff will monitor program metrics to track the number of mentors, mentees, and mentee relationships. Staff will also monitor the Mentor and Mentee MyPRSA communities, participant emails, and evaluation surveys for participant satisfaction and concerns.How will program outcomes be measured?
PRSA will survey participants at the conclusion of the mentoring relationship and at set intervals afterwards. This survey will allow mentors and mentees to share personal and professional outcomes resulting from the mentoring relationship. Participants will also be asked about their satisfaction with the program.
How do I become a Mentor?
If you are a member, click here to enroll as a Mentor. You will be instructed to choose your preferences for various demographics and also to complete your member profile.
Can I have more than one Mentee?
While there is no limit to the number of mentoring relationships you can establish, we recommend that you be judicious in selecting only Mentees who are most suited to learn from your expertise and experience. You can limit the number of Mentee requests you are willing to accept on the Mentoring enrollment page.
How do I find Mentees?
Once you have enrolled as a Mentor, go the "Find a Mentee" page and select the criteria you want to use for your Mentee search. Click on the Mentees'' names to view their profiles. Once you have found a good match, click on the Mentee badge (seen below the Mentee's profile image) to send the Mentee an email request.
How will I know if a Mentee has selected me as their Mentor?
You will receive an e-mail from the Mentee requesting you to be their Mentor. You will be prompted to accept or reject the request.
Is it okay to reject a request?
Yes, but there should be a good reason to do so. We encourage you to at least have an initial conversation to explore whether the relationship would be mutually fulfilling. If a potential Mentee has misinterpreted information in your profile, you may find him/her to be an inappropriate match. If you want to decline a request, go to the "My Mentoring Relationships" page and check the “decline” button next to the specific request.
What if I’m going to be on vacation or unavailable for a period of time?
Go to the "Mentor Enrollment" page, click the “Mentor Status” link then click on the check-box next to “Temporarily Not Participating.” Doing this will indicate that you are not accepting any Mentee requests at the moment, and your mentoring profile will not be included in a Mentee’s search for a Mentor. It is your responsibility to communicate your availability to your existing Mentees.
How do I end a mentoring relationship?
If the mentoring relationship is complete, go to the "My Mentoring Relationships" page and mark the relationship as “completed.”
If the mentoring relationship isn't working out, please kindly discuss your decision to end the relationship with your Mentee. Go to the "My Mentoring Relationships" page and mark the relationship as “completed.”
What are the expectations for participating Mentors?
We expect that you will fulfill your commitment to develop at least one mentoring relationship. We expect you to respond to initial requests from Mentees in a timely manner, and that you communicate with your Mentees as agreed upon by both you and your Mentees.
How much time will I need to invest as a Mentor?
We recommend that you and your Mentees agree on a schedule that works best for both of you. The most important thing is to discuss your mutual expectations about time and communication at the start of your relationship. Keep in mind that mentoring doesn’t necessarily require large amounts of your time. Even brief phone calls or e-mail exchanges with you can make a big difference to your Mentees.
What benefits do I receive from the organization if I participate as a Mentor in the program?
All Mentors are volunteers. As an active program participant, you will receive a ribbon identifying you as a Mentor.
Why am I not receiving mentor requests from mentees?
- If you have set up your mentor profile but haven't received mentor requests, your mentor profile may not be appearing in the mentor search. This could be because:
- You are opted out of the member directory.
- You have set your mentor start date to a date in the future, or did not set a start date.
- You did not complete your mentor profile and click "Save"
How do I become a Mentee?
If you are a member, click here to enroll as a Mentee. You will be instructed to choose your preferences for various demographics and also to complete your member profile.
Can I have more than one Mentor?
While there is no limit to the number of mentoring relationships you can establish, we recommend that you be judicious in selecting only Mentors who are most suited to your mentoring needs and have no more than two mentors at one time. Please keep in mind that Mentors have limited time to offer and may have other Mentoring relationships.
How do I find a Mentor?
Once you have enrolled as a Mentee, go the the "Find a Mentor" page and select the criteria you want to use for your Mentor search. Click on the Mentors' names to view their profiles. Once you have found a good match, click on the Mentor badge (seen below the Mentor's profile image) to send the Mentor an email request.
What should I do if I don’t hear from the Mentor I requested?
If you don’t hear from the Mentor within one or two weeks, feel free to contact them using the contact information found on their profile page.
What if the Mentor isn’t the right “fit” for my needs?
Sometimes, regardless of the information provided, Mentors and Mentees don’t always "fit." If this happens, we suggest that you discuss your decision honestly and kindly with your Mentor; thank them for their time then start a new Mentor search.
Where can I meet with my Mentor?
It is up to you and your Mentor to decide how, when and where you want to pursue your mentoring relationship. It is likely that most of your communication will occur by phone or electronically. The annual meeting offers a great opportunity to meet in person.
How long does the mentoring relationship last?
We recommend that you and your Mentor agree on a schedule that works best for both of you. The most important thing is to discuss your mutual expectations about time and communication at the start of your relationship.
Who was eligible to be a mentee during the pilot program?
The pilot program was open to PRSSA members and PRSA New Professionals of color. This is defined as identifying as Black/African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native, or identifying as Hispanic/Latino or some Other Race in their member profile.
What were the requirements for mentors to participate in the pilot program?
1) PRSA member in good standing
2) 5+ years professional experience
3) At least one of the following: 5+ years mentoring experience; Identify as a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or a person with disabilities; or Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in PRSA
4) Can commit to mentoring a student or new professional through the pilot program duration (through December 2020).
5) Complete training webinar on mentoring best practices, mentoring for diversity and inclusion, and program policies
How were eligible pilot program mentors identified?
PRSA sent invitations to potential eligible mentors. PRSSA, the PRSA College of Fellows, and the PRSA Diversity and Inclusion Committee will also invite eligible alumni/members to participate. Mentors will complete an eligibility survey when signing up for mentor training.
Why was the pilot program specifically focused on mentoring members of color?
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the US PR industry is 87.9 percent white, 8.3 percent African American, 5.7 percent Hispanic American and 2.6 percent Asian American. Minority groups are underrepresented in the industry compared to the general population demographics.
A quote from the Diversity Action Alliance (of which PRSA is a member) best summarizes the need for diversity within the PR Industry: “All stakeholders - brands, clients, agencies, current and prospective PR professionals (at all levels), students and donors - have the responsibility of ensuring our industry is cast with the talent that reflects the America we serve, and that that talent is mentored and given opportunities for growth - both professionally and financially.”
How many people participated in the pilot program?
Participation in the pilot program was limited to 30 mentors plus the number of mentees that they can support.
When will the mentor program be open to all members?
The pilot concluded in December 2020, with the program opening to all members in early January 2021 for mentors and early February 2021 for mentees.