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You might already have mad skills.

But in our ever changing game one can always improve, right?

In the interest of continuous improvement, here are 7 things you can do right now to become a better PR pro:

  1. Read some Charles Bukowski. Rather than wasting more time with yet another fluffy social media book, pick up some Buk and observe how a master puts words together. Short, sweet, and devoid of any excess, just like you’re supposed to produce. If Bukowski is too raw for you, grab some other fiction (Hemingway?). There’s plenty of evidence to suggest it helps a career.
  2. Register for a course on analyzing financial statements. You’re in business, so you should know how to read and interpret financials. If you cannot do this you will either : a) get screwed by an accountant someday b) lose a bunch of money via a terrible investment c) get in trouble with a government for filing bad taxes, or d) never get to the C-suite/run a successful enterprise of your own.
  3. Go to a newsroom. You’d be surprised how many PR people have never been to a newsroom. It’s so important to see how media live. You have contacts I’m sure. Ask ’em if you can pay their workplace a visit.
  4. Find one or two new blogs, with different perspectives, and add them to your reader. In our game there are a tonne of folks producing great blog content. Find a few new ones and you’ll probably learn new things.
  5. Make use of podcasts. No, podcasting is NOT dead! They’re a great way to learn on the fly and stay current.
  6. Improve your ability to produce visual content by reading, studying or doing. Pics and video are where it’s at on the web. You’re a much better pro if you understand how to create, deploy and curate visual media.
  7. Read some mythology. I’m a big fan of mythology, especially the Greek variety. The stories are well crafted, and life lessons driven home. In this business, we’re all storytellers who can benefit from reading masterfully woven tales.

You must have stuff to add. Love to hear from you.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Completely agree with everything on this list, Jackson (and the idea that fiction is good for your career)! I especially like #3. It’s shocking how few PR pros have actually visited a newsroom. I’d also add learn your client’s business (or the business where you work) by going on sales calls, hanging out on the manufacturing floor, or walking the halls.

  • Thanks Gini. Great add re learning a client’s biz. Also, wanted to again say thanks for that post on the importance of fiction. I saw PR Daily ran a riff-piece by one of your staff on it today. (For those who have not seen it,

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