Following her success at achieving Chartered PR Practitioner Status, Client Manager, Sara talks about the importance of Continuous Personal Development.

I have always enjoyed learning new things both inside and outside of work. When I can, I like reading, listening to audio books and my current favourite form of learning is…podcasts!

So how can I use these tools to improve my CPD and is there any point?

Yes, of course there is! With the changing pace of Public Relations and the ever-evolving digital communications sphere, I haven’t even scratched the surface.

CPD is a great way to manage professional development, demonstrating commitment to your sector and keeping up to date learning new skills. It’s all about improving, gaining knowledge, ensuring you remain current and effective. There is something very satisfying about being abreast of the latest trends and techniques. Not only is this of huge benefit personally, but clients gain from this too.

I am currently enrolled and due to complete the Digital Marketing Institute’s Certified Digital Marketing Professional programme. My skills and experience have always been rooted in traditional PR with a background in broadcast journalism; so now more than ever I need to get digital. This is not just for me to gain new skills but to gain the profession aptitudes to advise our clients on the latest advancements and improvements in digital communications.

The pandemic has proved that digital communications is more powerful than ever. We have all had to adapt and change how we do things, least of all communications.

Stephen Hawking famously said: “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”  Now more than ever is a time to learn, regroup, adapt and make change.

As a team, we are encouraged to gain as much CPD as we can. This comes from the top down, and to know what we have the support to learn alongside our day job is of huge benefit.

The CIPR is the only organisation with a Royal Charter enabling us as professionals to gain Chartered PR Practitioner status. The reason why it was important to me to achieve this was for recognition and confidence; not only for myself but for my clients too. As the CIPR say, “there is a huge difference between a dedicated professional who has made a commitment to a career in Public Relations and someone offering a similar service who lacks skill, knowledge, experience and ethical competence.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

I am now proud to be one of the 21 professionals in Northern Ireland to be Chartered, joining my boss Samantha and 379 others across the UK.

Feeling inspired? Here are a few of our favourite sites to help us push our knowledge to the next level: