The importance of learning something new

In her latest blog, Charlotte Dimond of Sidekick PR gives an insight into our Skills and Training services.

As an eternal student the necessity to keep up to date with skills and training is always high on my agenda. Learning new skills, refreshing old ones, and keeping abreast of changes is important no matter your role, level or sector.

Sadly, when budgets are tight, training costs are among the first to be squeezed and this can leave organisations unprepared and their teams lacking the skills needed to help them to grow and succeed.

No one knows it all and, in my mind, the best people are the ones that recognise this and are willing to learn, yes you can surround yourself with great people, and that is always a wise thing to do, but does that replace having the knowledge yourself to know when a good job is being done and how to do it – no.

I’m proud to have completed 19 consecutive cycles of Professional Development with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Why? Because there is always something new to learn.

Our clients rely on our expertise to help them to communicate the right message, with the right people, in the right way and if we want to be voices of authority and expertise, we need to invest time in our own skills.

Thankfully if you are a member of one of our industry bodies, the CIPR or the PRCA then you get access to lots of free webinars, panel sessions and blogs and these can help to give you a taste of the area you might want to learn even more about.

If you are running a business and you are looking to ensure that you have the skills you need, my recommendations would always be to focus on two things:

  • Crisis testing

How well can you handle a crisis? This can be make or break for some businesses. Most businesses have a crisis plan and would consider themselves crisis prepared but when you ask them when this was last tested the answer is – never.

Having a crisis plan and not testing it is such a missed opportunity. Do you want the first time you need it and you realise that there are major gaps in it, to be when you are in a crisis situation? No, you really don’t.

  • Media training

How do you come across on camera, on the radio or in an interview? Have you ever watched the news and thought that someone looked shifty, that you didn’t trust them or that they appeared arrogant? Knowing how to stand, how to look and how to stop any habits you may have, like raising a wry eyebrow or scratching your nose, in an interview can make the difference between something thinking you are credible and trustworthy or not.

Answering questions in a genuine, honest, and open way is a skill, one that can make a real difference to how people think of your organisation.

Team building

Both crisis training and media training are great team building experiences. As well as drawing teams together to come up with solutions they give participants an opportunity to spend time together, learn together and ensure that should the proverbial hit the fan, the team have the confidence and skills to get through it together.

Sidekick PR Training

Each year we deliver crisis scenario tests and media training sessions with clients and businesses across the UK.

In 2023 we’ll be offering five crisis scenario training days and five media training days. Some of these slots have already been booked up by existing clients - if you are interested in finding out more about our training options, get in touch.