If you’re like me, you get a little nostalgic this time of year seeing all of the “Back to School” ads and photos of college students moving into their dorms for the fall semester. College was a blast – not only because I made some of my best friends and best memories there, but because as a COM major I felt like I was surrounded by “my people.” The social media-obsessed, hungry for pop culture and success. I loved learning not just from our textbooks, but from trends and the media.
But just because college is over doesn’t mean your education should stop. As a matter of fact, working in an industry like PR (or marketing or advertising) where our work is constantly changing and evolving is why you have to keep learning.
Here are the top three ways I stay current with our industry:
- Read industry publications daily: The first step to keeping up with industry trends is to read about them. This includes news about the latest Facebook algorithm change, new campaigns that launched, and best practices. Here are some of my favorites: PR Daily, Adweek, AdvertisingAge, Digiday, Fast Company, and Inc.
- Attend networking events: While it’s good to be aware of global and national trends, it’s just as important to keep up with what’s going on in your local market. Networking events allow you to see what your peers are up to, and maybe even get inspiration for your next project. Events like PRSA luncheons also include presentations from local thought leaders.
- Take local classes: For when you crave that classroom setting, why not brush up on your skills? You don’t have to enroll back in college, but take a one-off class on skills that will bolster your career, such as photography, InDesign, or social media. I recently took an Instagram Workshop through SkillPop and have seen serious engagement boosts on both my personal and client accounts by applying what I learned. Search for similar programs in your area.
How do you continue learning post-college?