Babel achieves highest number of PRCA CPD points 2020/21
CPD. Continuous Professional Development. Defined by the PRCA (Public Relations and Communications Association, the world’s largest professional PR body of which Babel is a longstanding member) as ‘the process by which practitioners build skills and deepen knowledge.’ You may understand the term from your own career experience as, ‘going on boring courses’/ ‘being signed up for webinars I have no interest in’/ ‘attending sales events masquerading as training’.
At Babel, we think differently. For us as an agency – and for every one of our team members – CPD is as much a part of being a PR professional as media relations, client services, content creation and so on. Yes, CPD should ‘build skills and deepen knowledge’, but, crucially, it must also align with the career and personal goals of the individual, must be a considered choice made by them with support of their line manager and others, and must contribute to part of a wider, long-term, bespoke training plan.
This is the approach taken with every one of us who works at Babel – from apprentices and grad recruits, to senior management and director level (and everyone in between!). As such, we were thrilled to learn that we’d achieved the highest number of PRCA accredited CPD points for the most recent annual cycle, topping every other agency member across the world. Considering the PRCA represents more than 35,000 PR professionals in 70 countries globally, we can’t help but celebrate this as a pretty good way to see out the year.
How did we do it? Why did we do it? Well, collaboration and motivated team members; and to ensure everyone can pursue their individual interests and fulfill their potential. Here’s some words of advice if you’re planning your own PR career roadmap…
What training opportunities are most valuable to PR professionals?
A quick look through the Babel training schedule for the past 12 months sees training sessions covering everything from creativity, crisis comms and client management to personal branding, presence and impact, and performance management.
The sessions also vary in format and length. One of our team did a two-day in-person podcast creation workshop (the learnings from which we’ve leveraged to produce our own regular podcast), while others have done weekly content mentoring sessions over Zoom and in-office.
The value of training will be very much dependent on the team member, and the decision of which skills to work on and the best format to digest this information will be a matter of personal choice, and a decision made in conversation with a line manager or mentor.
How can PRs access training?
Again, a look back at our training schedule illustrates the diversity of training providers we’ve worked with in order to deliver sessions. The PRCA is a great starting point for PRs looking to up their skills. The organisation offers a wide range of opportunities, covering different disciplines, skills levels, and formats.
In addition to advising on potential sessions of interest, we also encourage team members to research and identify training opportunities independently. Organisations like the CIPR, the Press Association, Media Training, and Big Fish, all offer PR-specific training, and it’s worth checking sites like Eventbrite for other options – many of which are free. Remember, many of the platforms you use on a daily basis (Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Signal AI, etc) also offer free training sessions.
We’ve made use of all of the above, without forgetting the value of sharing knowledge internally across the agency. In the past we’ve hosted monthly ‘Spotlight Sessions’ during which a member of the team will discuss a client or campaign, outlining challenges, successes, and sharing tips for how these can be applied to other accounts. We also run a ‘Graduate Bootcamp’ for every employee at Consultant level, covering everything from time management and the basics of working in PR, to how best to utilise software and PR tools, and craft compelling emails.
Each and every one of these opportunities has earned the agency ‘CPD points’, which we’ve logged continuously throughout the year (including evidencing each session), as part of our ongoing membership of the PRCA – and as an integral part of our ongoing commitment to our team members.
So, congrats again to everyone at Babel for a stellar year of studying and skills development, and if you’d like to find out about the training and opportunities open to you at our agency, please get in touch – we have a number of openings currently available.