At spottydog, we’re committed to delivering best of breed communications, which is why fostering a culture of learning and development (L&D) is so important to us. Every pup who joins the pack is lucky enough to automatically receive a membership to Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), meaning that our skills are always sharp and that we’re never short of new tricks.
As 2022 draws closer (and the deadline for completing your CIPR CPD looms!), many PR professionals are looking for ways to boost their L&D activity. Recently, account executives Rachel and Syona decided take part in CIPR’s ‘CPD Kickstart Challenge’ throughout November. With many a CPD point now under their ’collars’, they share their top tips for making learning a habit in the New Year.
Rachel’s top tips:
Manage time effectively
Although working in PR is extremely busy and fast-paced, the beauty of CPD is that you can fit it into your schedule in a way that suits you. Thanks to the hundreds of insightful podcasts, members can listen and learn on the go while commuting to work or taking an afternoon stroll. Plus, CIPR offers recorded webinars, giving members the flexibility to learn when they can — perhaps even while cooking dinner or washing up.
As well as multitasking, another time-effective tip I found particularly useful when completing the CPD Kickstart Challenge was scheduling learning time in my calendar. It’s easy to postpone training activities when there are urgent client deadlines to meet and reactive press opportunities to respond to. Therefore, by adding placeholders such as ‘learning time’ or ‘logging CPD points’ in my diary, I was able to manage my time effectively and keep on top of training.
Pick subjects that interest you
Completing CPD is a lot easier when you choose to expand your PR and comms knowledge on topics you enjoy. From copywriting skills to pitching into the media, there are a wide range of webinars, skills guides and articles available on the CIPR website to suit you.
I personally enjoy listening to webinars as it means I get to learn virtually face-to-face from expert trainers, all while bagging 5 CPD points!
Syona’s top tips:
Buddy up with a team member
When completing your CPD, many may think that it’s something you need to do alone. However, there are so many networking and industry activities that you can attend with team members or friends in the industry which can be logged as part of your CPD. We’ve found this to be a great way to stay motivated throughout the Kickstart Challenge — plus, we’ve been able to share our notes and insights with each other.
Most recently, Rachel and I attended Social Circle, a monthly networking event to meet and mingle with fellow industry professionals, hear about the latest social updates, and share the exciting campaigns we’ve been working on.
Put what you learn into action
In the world of PR and comms, testing and learning is a sure-fire route to success. And that applies to your CPD too. Spending your time watching webinars, listening to podcasts and networking is pointless without actually applying what you’ve learnt.
For example, the ‘How to Rock at Online Meetings’ article has helped me rethink how we approach client calls — from doing vocal exercises to get ourselves warmed up, to sharing important information in a clear and articulate way. What’s more, following the Social Circle events, Rachel and I have created a deck — known as ‘Digital Spots’ — featuring all the latest social and digital updates to share with the wider team and with our clients.
Looking for inspiration on what activity to start? Check out our top 3 ways to complete your CPD:
Podcasts are such an easy activity to incorporate into your daily routine and the Engage podcast is perfect to soak up a host of PR and comms knowledge. We highly recommend listening to ‘Doing Diversity Differently’, which highlights how diversity is not just a tick box for organisations, but is a vital ingredient to fostering an inclusive atmosphere in the workplace. The episode also acknowledges how diversity is not just the responsibility for senior company leaders to address but the responsibility of all team members.
If you enjoy getting out and meeting other CIPR members, networking is the perfect way to log your CPD points. Search the CPD database and you will find dozens of social events in your local area that offer points. A lot of them include food and drink too — such as CIPR’s AGM meeting and awards party!
The CIPR Skills Guide is a valuable resource for all practitioners, no matter what stage you are at in your career. The ‘Introduction to Influencer Marketing’ guide is a great starter resource to explore the benefits and mechanics behind building an influencer marketing strategy and understand how much influencers have drastically changed the marketing landscape.
We hope you’re feeling more inspired to complete your CPD and make learning a habit in the New Year. We can’t wait to continue learning and hopefully becoming Chartered Practitioners, like others in the agency!