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Sun, sea, sand …… and CPD

CIPR International's Chair, Shirley Collyer, discusses the importance of investing in your CPD during the summer break

Henry Ford once said: ‘Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.’

If you're pursuing a career in the fast-changing world of PR it's never been more essential to continue learning, whatever stage of your career you're at.

The CIPR’s CPD scheme is a key tool for learning and it really puts you in the driving seat of your own career. This year the CIPR is running ‘the summer of CPD’, a series of events and webinars which should ensure you reach your CPD points - and get you on the way to become a chartered practitioner.

You might think ‘why on earth should I spend time in the summer studying or learning when I could be relaxing in the sun, attending a festival or sightseeing?’

In my view, summer is a great time to get your CPD points under your belt. I'm actually spending mine renovating an old house in rural France, so I'm spending a lot of time clearing the place, finding workmen and - the fun bit - planning a new kitchen and bathrooms. And, of course, enjoying the food and wine.

But being in the midst of refurbishing provides me with an opportunity to step back from my day-to-day work responsibilities and think. Taking out half an hour or so to listen to a webcast - I've just listened to the one on the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) - means that I can think about the potential implications for my company as well as my clients whilst I'm painting a shutter or a wall!

Summer is also a good time to take a step back and think about your career. Where do you want to be in five or ten years’ time? How can you get there? How can you reach your goals? What skills do you need to acquire and develop?

CPD can provide you a view of different areas of communication or tools that you may not use in your day to day work. If you work on media relations, delving into a case study on internal comms issues may inspire you to transition into that area of expertise, may give you the confidence to take on an internal comms project, or may simply change your view on how to approach an issue.

During the recent CIPR International Global Practice conference - which awarded CPD points - international practitioners heard fascinating insights into how digital media is changing crisis comms, how ethics differ around the world and how to effectively tackle those differences. Hearing different views, experience and approaches certainly gave me food for thought and will, I hope, improve the advice I give to my clients. I also met a lot of great people from all over the world.

The CIPR has created some great events for the ‘Summer of CPD’ which runs between now and 25 August. If you’re working in an international environment the CIPR International committee has produced a number of webcasts on ‘doing PR in …. ‘ including UAE, Italy and Switzerland, which will give insight into those markets – and of course - if you're visiting those countries it’s great to learn more about the comms practices and media environment.

I’m off to paint another room …… and think further about GDPR!

By Shirley Collyer

CIPR International Chair


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