Sell it to the boss

The PRSA Sunshine District Conference hosted by North Florida PRSA has all the benefits of a traditional landlubbers’ conference.

  • You will learn new stuff from professionals who are rock stars in their fields.
  • You will meet other professionals and broaden your network.
  • You will come back a changed person with new skills, and a new outlook on your beloved profession.

How to ask for full or partial reimbursement. 

Start with this email template that will provide your boss with all the relevant information about the conference and how covering your cost to attend is one of the best professional development opportunities and investments they can make with you. All you have to do is tailor it to your situation.

Dear Boss,

As you know, I’m a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a professional association that promotes and advances those in communications professions.

From June 23-26, 2017, there is a conference for all PRSA members in Florida and the surrounding states. I’d like your permission to attend. Since the event falls over a weekend, I’d only be out of the office for two days: Friday, June 23 and Monday, June 26 and I’d have reliable access to email the entire time. I’d only be without phone access during business hours for a couple hours on Friday and Monday.

I’m also asking the company to consider paying for or reimbursing me for the $____ conference cost as an investment in my professional development. The content is highly relevant to my role here, and I will gain exposure to new perspectives, ideas and skills that will ultimately make me a better communicator for the company. I’ve attached an overview of the topics and speakers to give you an idea of what I will learn.

In addition to the value of the presentations and workshops, I’ll have the opportunity to meet and spend time with other communications professionals who can become valuable resources and points of contact for us going forward.

The conference is on a cruise ship sailing from Port Canaveral that is specially equipped with conference facilities that cater to this kind of event, such as traditional meeting rooms and wi-fi is available for a nominal fee.  In fact, this event will cost the company less than a traditional hotel-based conference because one flat fee includes all food, accommodations, conference costs and incidentals. The only additional costs will be my travel to and from Port Canaveral, which I will cover on my own.

The registration deadline is April 8. Do I have your permission to attend and get reimbursed for the conference fee?

Thank you.

If you think this note isn’t convincing enough, cherry-pick from the following conference benefits and incorporate them into your note for good measure. If your boss has questions, check our our FAQ page or drop us a line if you don’t see the answer you need.

  • Do not be misled by the venue. Cruise conferences are gaining popularity because their relaxed environment is conducive to learning new things, meeting new people and being open-minded about change. You’ll leave refreshed, energized and equipped with new ideas and skills that will improve your productivity and/or job performance.
  • Will you have fun and laugh a lot? YES, of course! But you will also have captive access to a host of highly credentialed speakers and peers across Florida and the surrounding areas, giving you exponentially more access to the input and ideas of industry experts and your peers.
  • This conference falls primarily over the weekend, which results in less time out of the office than a land-based conference.
  • An all-inclusive cruise conference has a per-person cost that’s equal to that of PRSA District Conferences from the past 3 years with no sacrifice in the quality of content or attendees.
  • The per-person rate of this year’s Sunshine District Conference is 50% – 75% lower than national communications conferences held at hotels or conference centers and comes with minimal additional expenses. The speakers are on par with those national events and, in many cases, are more relevant because of their geographic proximity.
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