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Athabasca University

Professional Organizations

Check the links on this page for professional associations and organizations in the communications field. Many of them publish journals, newsletters, and other publications as well as routes to professional development and accreditation. Some of them offer scholarships, grants, study and research opportunities. All of them provide a collegial environment for professionals in your field.

We are always prepared to add, correct or change items on this list. If you have some great professional information for us, please email us at

We also offer a Library Pathfinder, a useful resource intended to help students locate information in the communication studies field.

Note: To open a link in a new window or tab when using most web browsers, right-click on a link and select the option from the browser's context menu.



  • Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
    "FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent, Canada-wide, non-partisan voluntary organization whose mission is to defend and enhance the quality and quantity of Canadian programming in the Canadian audio-visual system. FRIENDS is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party."
    (home, 2007, para. 1)

Electronic/New Media

  • Broadcast Education Association
    A "professional association for professors, industry professionals and graduate students who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises."
    (Home, n.d., para. 1)
  • Business Marketing Association
    This association "is the leading professional resource for business-to-business marketers and communicators. Members are from corporations, agencies, consulting firms, and suppliers to the industry." (Home, 2005-2007, para. 1) They provide an excellent list of links, such as links to the Corporate Communication Institute or the Public Relations Society of America, “that provide industry information in marketing, advertising and public relations” (Links, 2005-2007, para. 1)
  • Internet Professional Publishers Association
    The IPPA "is an association of design and technology professionals working in New Media and the Internet. The role of the IPPA has been to foster quality solutions for commercial applications of the Internet. The association also provides a forum for communication and discussions about the future of the Internet, e-commerce, e-business, and the digital revolution."
    (IPPA: About, 2003, para. 1)
  • Software and Information Industry Association
    "The Software & Information Industry Association is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age."
    (SIIA Overview, 2006, para. 1)
  • Specialized Information Publishers Association
    The association's "mission is to serve its worldwide members through education, training, networking and advocacy to foster growth, profitability and professional excellence."
    (Welcome, n.d., para. 3)

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  • American Copy Editors Society
    The American Copy Editors Society, a professional organization of copy editors aims "to provide solutions to copy desk problems, through training, discussion and an awareness of common issues."
    (Homepage: ACES' Mission, n.d., para. 2)
  • American Society of Newspaper Editors
    "The American Society of Newspaper Editors is a membership organization for daily newspaper editors, people who serve the editorial needs of daily newspapers and certain distinguished individuals who have worked on behalf of editors through the years."
    (About ASNE, 2006, para. 1)
  • Associated Press Managing Editors
    "An association of U.S. and Canadian editors whose newspapers are members of The Associated Press [AP]...[and who are] dedicated to the improvement, advancement and promotion of journalism by our own newspapers and through our relationship with the AP."
    (Home, 2006, para. 1)
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
    "The AEJMC exists to promote the highest possible standards for education in journalism and mass communication, to encourage the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi-cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of expression in day-to-day living."
    (About the AEJMC, 1994-2006, para. 1)
  • Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
    "The purpose of the organization is to defend the rights of journalists and contribute to the development of media freedom throughout the world."
    (Home: Mission Statement, n.d., para. 1)
  • Education Writers Association
    "The Education Writers Association (EWA) is the national professional organization of education reporters ...intent [on] improving education reporting to the public."
    (About EWA: Mission, 2004, para. 1)
  • National Press Club
    The Club strives "to provide a medium for exchange of ideas; foster friendly relationships among members of the news media and allied professionals; promote the prestige and standards of the news media and safeguard its freedoms; improve the status of journalism; support any undertaking calculated to benefit or advance the profession of journalism; provide privileges, and conveniences of a Club for members."
    (Homepage: Mission, n.d., para. 1)
  • Newspaper Association of America
    "The Association focuses on six key strategic priorities that collectively affect the newspaper industry: marketing, public policy, diversity, industry development, newspaper operations and readership."
    (About NAA: Introduction, 2006, para. 1)
  • Online Privacy for Journalists - The Ultimate Guide
    "Surveillance and censorship are increasing all over the globe. Technology has allowed surveillance to become much easier than it previously was and governments are exploiting it to isolate journalists and censor them."
    (Article para. 1)
  • Sources
    "More than 5,000 Expert Contacts and Media Spokespersons representing more than 1,000 Organizations ready to answer media questions on their areas of expertise. A free service for journalists, writers, editors and researchers."
    (Home, n.d., para. 1)
  • The Canadian Association of Journalists
    "The CAJ is the national voice of Canadian journalists. We are committed to protecting the public’s right to know. We are dedicated to promoting excellence in journalism, from the university classroom to the national stage. The CAJ offers you a chance to take part in and continue to grow the profession you have chosen as your own."
    (About Us: Mission Statement, n.d., para. 1)
  • The National Free Press
    "The National Free Press is an advertisement-free, independent national publication, contributed to by Canadians and by people from around the world – of all ages and backgrounds, overflowing with informative, educational, enlightening and controversial news articles."
    (Company Information: Welcome, 2006, para. 1)
  • The Project for Excellence in Journalism
    "The Project for Excellence in Journalism is a research organization that specializes in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press. It is non partisan, non ideological and non political."
    (About Us, 2006, para. 1)
  • Victims and the Media Program
    "The Victims and the Media Program was established in 1991 to assist journalism students in reporting on victims of violence and catastrophe with the sensitivity, dignity and respect that they deserve."
    (About Us: Our History, Mission & Goals, n.d., para. 1)

Marketing & Advertising

  • Advertising Association
    "The Advertising Association is a federation of 31 trade bodies and organizations representing the advertising and promotional marketing industries including advertisers, agencies, media and support services."
    (Home: Welcome, 2005, para. 1)
  • Association for Consumer Research
    "The mission of the Association for Consumer Research is to advance consumer research and facilitate the exchange of scholarly information among members of academia, industry, and government worldwide."
    (About ACR: What Do We Stand For?, 2004, para. 1)
  • Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
    "The IPA is the trade body and professional institute for 225 leading agencies in the UK's advertising, media and marketing communications industry, covering the Creative, Digital Media, Direct Marketing, Healthcare, Media, Outdoor, Sales Promotion and Sponsorship sectors."
    (Home: Welcome, n.d., para. 1)
  • International Advertising Association
    "The International Advertising Association is a one-of-a-kind strategic partnership which champions the common interests of all the disciplines across the full spectrum of marketing communications – from advertisers to media companies to agencies to direct marketing firms – as well as individual practitioners."
    (About the IAA, n.d., para. 1)
  • Marketing Research Association
    "MRA promotes excellence in the opinion and marketing research industry by providing members with a variety of opportunities for advancing and expanding their marketing research and related business skills."
    (About MRA, 2006, para. 1)
  • The Chartered Institute of Marketing
    The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world's largest professional marketing body with 50,000 members worldwide. Their aim: "To be the pre-eminent body on marketing practice, standards and associated knowledge on an international basis and for this to be acknowledged by governments, marketers, business, education and others."
    (About Us, 2006, para. 1)


  • Association of Internet Researchers
    "The Association of Internet Researchers is an academic association dedicated to the advancement of the cross-disciplinary field of Internet studies."
    (Homepage, n.d., para. 1)
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric
    This Society's "purpose is to promote the study of the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages, and its relationships with other fields of enquiry and realms of practice."
    (What is the CSSR?, n.d., para. 2)
  • NewsWatch Canada
    "NewsWatch Canada undertakes independent research on the diversity and thoroughness of news coverage in Canada's media."
    (About NewsWatch, n.d., para. 1)
  • The Media and Communications Studies Site
    This site is a portal "to internet-based resources useful in the academic study of media and communication... It is British-based and is intended to give priority to issues of interest to both British scholars in the field and to others who are interested in media in the UK."
    (About this site, n.d., para. 1)

Professional and Technical Writing

  • American Medical Writers Association
    "The mission of the American Medical Writers Association is to promote excellence in medical communication and to provide educational resources that support that goal."
    (Welcome to AMWA, n.d., para. 2)
  • National Writers Union
    "The National Writers Union is the trade union for freelance and contract writers: journalists, book authors, business and technical writers, web content providers, and poets."
    (Home: About the N.W.U., 2005-2006, para. 1)
  • Society for Technical Communication
    "STC is an individual membership organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of technical communication."
    (About the STC, 2006, para. 1)

Public Relations & Business Communication

  • American Communication Association
    "The American Communication Association (ACA) was founded in 1993 for the purposes of fostering research and scholarship in all areas of human communication behavior, promoting and improving excellence in the pedagogy of communication, providing a voice in communication law and policy, and providing evaluation and certification services for academic programs in communication study."
    (About ACA, 1993-2006, para. 1)
  • Canadian Communication Association
    "The Canadian Communication Association is a bilingual, national organization founded in 1980 that brings together communication teachers, researchers and professionals from the university, government and private enterprise sectors."
    (About Us, n.d., para. 1)
  • Canadian Public Relations Society
    "CPRS aims to be the Society of choice for Canadian Public Relations and communications professionals — one that champions best practices, promotes understanding of the value of effective communication, provides value to its members and is dedicated to their development."
    (Welcome, 2006, para. 1)
  • Corporate Communication Institute
    "The Corporate Communication Institute provides a world-class, research-driven educational center in Corporate Communication."
    (Home: Welcome, 1999-2006, para. 1)
  • Council of Public Relations Firms
    The CPRF "represents the business of public relations, advocating the value of public relations as a strategic business tool."
    (Homepage, n.d., tagline)
  • Institute for Public Relations
    "The Institute for Public Relations is focused on the science beneath the art of public relations."
    (About: Strategic Plan, Our Purpose, 2006, para. 2)
  • International Association for Business Communicators
    "The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network that provides the content, the credibility and the community to help communication professionals succeed in their careers."
    (Home: Welcome, 2006, tagline)
  • International Public Relations Association
    This Association's mission is "to provide intellectual leadership in the practice of international public relations, by making available to our members the services and information that will help them to meet their professional responsibilities and to succeed in their careers."
    (About IPRA: Introduction, n.d., slide 3)
  • Public Relations Society of America
    "PRSA is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. Its nearly 20,000 members, organized into 114 chapters, represent business and industry, technology, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations."
    (PRSA Vision: Mission – Objectives, n.d., para. 2)

Visual Communication

  • American Institute of Graphic Arts
    "AIGA sets the national agenda for the role of design in its economic, social, political, cultural and creative contexts."
    (About AIGA, 2006, para. 2)
  • Communication Artists' Network
    This site provides users with various links: information about creative work in the field; search capability for jobs, people, and companies⁄organizations; and access to the Communication Arts magazine.
  • Film Studies Association of Canada
    "The aim of the FSAC has been to foster and advance scholarship in the history and art of film and related fields as well as to aid those teaching film and video production at Canadian colleges and universities."
    (History of the Film Studies Association of Canada, 2004–2005, para. 3)
  • Graphic Artists Guild
    "The Graphic Artists Guild is a national union of illustrators, designers, web creators, production artists, surface designers and other creatives who have come together to pursue common goals, share their experience, raise industry standards, and improve the ability of visual creators to achieve satisfying and rewarding careers."
    (About the Guild, n.d., para. 3)
  • International Visual Communication Association
    "The International Visual Communication Association exists to promote effective business and public service communications of the highest ethical and professional standards."
    (The IVCA: About the Association – The Role of the Association, 2004–2006, para. 1)


Updated June 12 2019 by Student & Academic Services

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