Kevin Winfield – Learning and Development in a Changing PR Landscape

With the deadline for CIPR CPD rapidly approaching I’ve been thinking about how important continuous learning is in the face of constant change. The PR industry is a rapidly evolving landscape brimming with ever-changing challenges, technologies, and opportunities for practitioners to navigate. Due to the shifting nature of the sector, professionals must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments to remain relevant and effective in their roles to continue delivering value to their clients or organisations. 

Initiatives such as the CIPR’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme enable professionals to build upon their skills and expertise that will allow them to traverse an industry that is continually moving. By investing in these initiatives and taking advantage of the resources available, practitioners are showing their commitment to their professional development, and employers are demonstrating their dedication to their employees’ careers. 

At Jargon PR, our belief in the importance of CPD is such that all members of the client-facing team should have the opportunity to work toward accredited  status. We’re a highly ambitious agency and therefore we want to foster a culture made up of a team which shares that ambition. 

For employers such as my own, therefore, investing in schemes such as CPD allows both the business and the team to demonstrate its commitment to improvement and thereby enhance its credibility and reputation within the industry. By demonstrating a commitment to learning and development, my colleagues are given the opportunity to firmly establish themselves as true experts within their field and build trust with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. They’re also effectively future-proofing themselves in an industry changing at breakneck speed. 

Ultimately, I firmly believe that a team that holds itself to a high professional standard is destined for success. The commitment to CPD should be seen as essential for continued participation in the industry. When every team member is committed to their own development, they become better equipped to collaborate, innovate and deliver impactful campaigns, while being able to handle unexpected issues and challenges that may surface.

In addition to showing commitment to the careers of their teams, organisations that invest in accredited development programmes are also using these to attract and retain high-quality talent. According to LinkedIn’s ‘2023 Workplace Learning Report’, providing learning opportunities is the number one way businesses are working to improve retention. Practitioners are more likely to be motivated and engaged when they are part of a team that values their development and growth.

Continuous learning is essential to peoples’ personal and professional growth and development. We should never turn our noses up at the opportunity to learn new things, enhance existing skills and provide others with those same opportunities. This is even more true when you work within an industry as fast-paced and competitive as the PR sector that can leave practitioners left in the past if they’re not investing in themselves.

As the PR industry continues to evolve, it’s up to us to ensure our skills are sharp and we remain adaptive to an ever-shifting landscape.