Staying current in the ever-evolving communications landscape means it is essential for every PR professional to keep learning. Consciously or not, learning happens every day – how to use a new social platform better, how to manage an interview opportunity to secure multi-platform coverage or how to refine a crisis management strategy. Books are, by their nature, static. They can certainly offer newcomers to PR some good solid theory and broad knowledge of media, PR and public affairs. However, like learning to drive, the real progress happens when you hit the road yourself.
Talks by journalists at CIPR events or well-targeted conferences are fantastic opportunities to understand how the media works, what a journalist's particular pressure points are, how good PRs can help them and, in turn, offer their clients the most effective advice. It’s also a valuable chance to discover the most compelling ways to turn a narrative round.
Watching senior PR professionals at work - in person or through their own books and memoires - can be learning in action. Listening to the advice they give, understanding their strategic goals and seeing how they play out the tactics can be the effective learning of all.