Missions and Prestige
You gain faction prestige by succeeding in specific missions. In a single scenario there will be one to three missions dedicated to your specific faction, all tasks that if completed give your faction an advantage in Absalom's shadow war. You might need to make sure a crime lord dies, protect an innocent merchant, save a kidnapped child, hand off an important missive, foil an assassination, or steal an important communiqué. Whatever the mission, a positive outcome earns you and your faction anywhere from one to three points of Faction Prestige. Every Pathfinder Society Scenario offers the same potential amount of Faction Prestige to each faction. It's up to you to make sure your faction scores higher than its competitors.
As you advance in Faction Prestige your faction rewards your excellent service. At the same time, the factions with greater prestige gain power and their star rises in the ongoing storyline of the season. Every month a Pathfinder Missive (our monthly newsletter) will let everyone know which factions are increasing in dominance over the city of Absalom and which factions are being nudged ever closer to ignominy and ineffectualness. At the season's conclusion, the faction scoring the most Faction Prestige rules Absalom from behind the scenes, while its enemies gnash their teeth and their kingdoms suffer the consequences. Having a Pathfinder in the winning faction gains that character access to rewards you wouldn't otherwise be able to obtain. (More on rewards later.) Every season ends in June at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH. July is a "bridge" month between seasons during which the loosely-connected storyline of the previous season comes to a close while foreshadowing the new season to come. Faction Prestige is reset in July, so that when the next season of Pathfinder Society Organized Play kicks off at Gen Con, every faction once again has the possibility to rule Absalom from the shadows.
Sorry, no links because I can't find a way to link to individual posts in Paizo's blog. You'll just have to scroll to June 5, 2008. You can also find info on two of the factions in the blog: democratic Andoran and devil-seduced Cheliax. Both sound like fun.