The Early Bird Catches the Worm

by Melissa Craib

Monday, February 5th, 2018

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At our Scottish PR agency we don’t believe in leaving things till the last minute

Melissa, staff at Scottish PR agency, Holyrood PR and her CPD certificate

AFTER graduating university and getting a job in PR I was keen to ensure I didn’t stop my learning there.

Luckily for me, open and free to all members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is its Continuing Professional Development programme or CPD for short.

The media landscape is constantly evolving, we live in world where ‘Fake News’ was Collins Dictionary’s word of 2017 and newspapers are opting to be online only. So the best way to ensure you keep up is to keep learning. As a PR practitioner, CPD is the perfect way to make sure you do just this.

CIPR’s CPD course is all about growing your knowledge and skill set and adapting to the ever changing world of communications. You are encouraged to record your learnings across three different elements – ethics, ‘developing yourself’ and ‘supporting others’.

At first getting all 60 points seemed a bit daunting. To get there it appeared to involve a lot of reading, learning and training courses to even make a dent in the required points.

Much to my surprise I have finished the necessary 60 points to complete CPD for this year months before the February deadline (in September to be exact).

If you don’t change you get left behind

During university I was never one to get things done ahead of schedule. I was an all nighter, last minute frenzy, needed the pressure type of student – I even submitted an assignment ten seconds before the deadline.

But when presented with the CIPR’s CPD 60 point requirement and a whole plethora of webinars, case studies, training courses and talks I was able to take control of my learning and get stuck right in.

To complete my CPD I attended training courses, talks, read books and case studies, went to networking events and even listened to podcasts. Having the freedom to focus on topics that interested me meant that I even opted to learn a few things I thought I wouldn’t have liked.

In particular I found it really fascinating to read other agencies different award winning entries for the PRide awards. There must be hundreds of them available from a range of agencies. It allowed me to learn a lot of different PR tools used by other agencies and also how to measure and evaluate work.

There is no ‘I’ in team

Of course all this learning has been hugely beneficial for myself. It has helped me break the shackles of pressure induced learning from university and it has allowed me to keep developing myself within PR.

But more importantly it allows me to offer the best possible service to our clients. By keeping up-to-date with the ever changing media landscape, knowing what makes an award winning PR campaign, and to measure what really matters means I can turn the everyday into something that makes me proud.

Although I have already achieved my 60 CPD points I haven’t packed away my books and stopped learning. Thanks to there always being an interesting talk held by the PRCA to attend or a new webinar that interests me I have been able to continue to keep logging points on my CPD and I intend to keep it that way.

Interested in working with our award-winning Scottish PR agency to help your business get ahead by telling your stories?

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