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Professional Development: Resources To Step Up Your PR Game

Image by Raymond Bryson via Flickr

Image by Raymond Bryson via Flickr

The public relations industry moves quickly. To keep pace and grow, you can count on a number of professional development resources for some of the most requested PR skill sets.

Whether you’re looking to broaden your knowledge or land a new gig, building these core tactics will help:

Writing
Being able to write well is arguably the most important skill for anyone in the PR field. Whatever your medium may be –a tweet, press release, or speech–you must be able to get your message across clearly and effectively (bonus points if you do so in a captivating way).

Every PR pro should have at least a few reference books to help them make the most of their writing. Strunk’s The Elements of Style is consistently lauded by industry professionals as their go-to reference for writing well. Fogarty’s Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is a more modern reference guide, with an emphasis on grammar. And if you want to keep on journalists’ nice list, understand their style bible: The Associated Press Stylebook.

Content Marketing
Content marketing – earning customers by means of publishing original and curated content – is the future of public relations and digital marketing. We think it’s so important that we even created a Content Marketing Suite to help you amplify content to your target audiences.

Copy Blogger and Content Marketing Institute provide a wealth of resources for excelling with content marketing, SEO and copywriting, as does this very blog you’re reading, Cision Blog!  Not sure where to start?  Download our free content marketing eBook or register for one of our upcoming content marketing webinars!

Adobe Photoshop
These days, it seems like Photoshop is listed as an essential job qualification as often as Microsoft Word. A basic knowledge will go a long way (you can leave the advanced Photoshop skills to the graphic designers).

Lynda.com has more than 250 Photoshop courses for every skill level.  Skillshare also offers a number of Photoshop courses, like this one for beginners. Skillshare classes give participants a project to work on to practice the skills they learn in class, which is great if you don’t have a professional or personal project already lined up.

Google Analytics
Your website is a treasure chest containing valuable insights about your visitors.  The key to opening the treasure chest is Google Analytics. Google provides a free Analytics Academy to provide you with all the knowledge you need to implement changes to your website and web marketing strategies.

Pitching
Pitching to journalists and bloggers can be a nerve-racking experience, especially when you are just starting out in your career. The perfect pitch (a pitch perfect pitch?) can mean big things for your campaign and potentially begin a relationship with the journalist. Don’t go into pitching blind! PRSA offers a webinar on how to Transform Your Pitch From Snooze to News, which is free for members. Be sure to also download our PR Resource kit, which includes a tip sheet on pitching and a video Q&A.

While this list captures some of the most commonly sought-after skillsets in the public relations field, it certainly isn’t all-inclusive. What professional skills are you looking to develop this year and what are your go-to resources for professional development?

About Brittney Lane

Brittney Lane is a writer for the Cision Blog. She is also a reporting specialist in Cision’s Managed Services department and founder of Learn It Lab, a blog about learning new skills. When she isn’t writing, Brittney enjoys traveling, going to concerts and eating bagel sandwiches. You can find Brittney on Twitter at @BrittneyLane.

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