Continuing Education: PRSA Conferences in 2012

In the spirit of where we left off at the end of January, keeping up with the latest PR and communication-related news is essential to success.

The PRSA keeps a list of updated conferences for the year on their website. There is a link available for each conference with additional information about the conference topic and how to sign up. Site visitors may also use the event calendar to scope how to sort their conference search based on conference type (in-person versus online training) as well as whether or not these times work around busy schedules. Because many of the conferences are in months to come, there is time to start planning visits.

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Too Busy to Learn?

For those already established in the PR industry, chances are high you may already be involved in an association. (More than likely, the PRSA). It can become challenging to be more than a fee-paying member of these groups, especially when agenda’s are always full and meetings never stop but it’s important to get the most out of them. Whether your motivation stems from the membership fee dollar amount missing from your bank account or your desire to further your career and perfect your craft (opinionated hint: one motivating factor should slightly outweigh the other), it’s completely feasible to stay on top of what’s new in the groups, networks, and associations you’re apart of without neglecting your immediate responsibilities.

A few ideas:

  • Make an effort, as a team or group within your office, company, etc. to attend seminars, conferences, and/or keep up with industry-related events. By committing  to continue their (encouraged) involvement within groups and associations, all associates are contributing to bringing improvements and ideas to their company/organization.
  • Always keep up with articles/news about the industry. We all learned in school to rely upon scholarly articles and reference material to ensure validity in the information we’re consuming. That’s important; however, it is also important to stay on top of the buzz surrounding the industry for which you work — even if it’s not always the product of an academic journal. Reading what others have to say might spawn ideas for improvement or even bring misconceptions to light. All in all, reading this information may lead to the generation of ideas. Follow a specific industry on LinkedIn or a similar social network you may use regularly to network and read news.
  • Talk to peers in other industries. It’s always nice to hear a different perspective. Involvement in a group or association involving an industry you’re not directly involved with could provide insight to things you may have never thought of seeing life from your perspective (as well as those who work in your field).
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Apps for PR pros

A simple weekend reminder: apps make life easier, so why not take a few minutes to make sure you’re using the best ones out there?

In yesterday’s post on PR Daily, Ronnie Manning outlines several (23 to be exact) that are just a little more-than-good for PR pros to check out.

What are some of your favorite apps and why? Which do you feel are most beneficial for PR professionals?

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Make it Yours: Codecademy

I understand. Most PR professionals are not succeeding because of their top notch Computer Science degree, ability to code or program – but why not?

Codecademy is an interactive web resource for learning how to do basic coding in a fun, almost conversational manner. Upon entering the site, I learned a few simple command lines for basic math.

Why is this important for PR pros to know?

It’s not a requirement, but understanding how to put together a simple website (or how to modify a preexisting template to your liking) is a skill that many PR and Communication professionals do not possess.   This understanding could be useful in determining what needs can be met in terms of a company’s method of web design, promotional materials, etc.  And it never hurts to learn something new.

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Publish, Promote & Manage: Selling Out Events with Eventbrite

If  Skillshare is to education,

Eventbrite is to promotion — and it gets better than this half-witted analogy.

Eventbrite is an online tool people can use to create professional event pages where they can use social media tools to promote the event, and monitor statistics related to the attendee’s opinions, actions, and behavior at the event.  By paying a fee, users of Eventbrite can collect money from attendees via Eventbrite’s credit card system, Paypal or Google Checkout.

PR professionals, though multi-talented, do not need to have extensive site-building knowledge with the use of this service, mainly because the event pages are modifiable in a non-web-designer-user-friendly way. Eventbrite users may also choose to leverage their page’s search engine listings as well as choosing from a series of embedded widgets and customized email marketing templates for promotion purposes. While you are tracking your attendees and planning your next event, you can rest assured people are finding you on Google–with ease.


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Education Across Communities

One way to stand apart from the crowd is by offering something no one else can – or at least thinking of it first.

Skillshare is a startup with a mission to make education accessible from anyone, anywhere. By logging in with a standard email account and password or through one’s personal Facebook account, members can access online classes separated by categories such as Creative Arts, Culinary Arts, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle, and Technology.

Based on the zip code you provide during login and what category you choose to learn more about, members can also personalize their own learning schedule as they select courses or topics that interest them.

For PR and Communications professionals an outlet like this one could be extremely useful for not only giving back by sharing useful information with others, but becoming a go-to source for education based on a particular niche – especially in areas where courses about PR and Communications are sparse or nonexistent.

Would being able to offer information in an online class forum about the skill set most related to your organization’s mission be beneficial to your organization’s growth?

Why or why not? Let us know what you think.

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Happy Friday!

Fire PR Group wishes you a happy Friday! Next week’s posts will be centered on new and/or promising start-ups and how PR professionals can use these services to their advantage – or at least learn something new. Watch out for our posts Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

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