After kick-starting my career with Escapade in consumer lifestyle PR in July, when they offered me the opportunity of a training course a few weeks down the line I couldn’t refuse. Needing all the training I could get as a new PR person, the PRCA was the obvious choice to find a course that would suit me.
After recommendation from colleagues, I was introduced to the PRCA Foundation Certificate. Described by PRCA as being designed for “those at the start of their career in PR who are looking to fast track their development”, it was clear that this would be the best course for me. The Foundation Certificate covers all the different essential skills required in PR at an introductory level and as a bonus I would come out with a recognised qualification at the end of it too!
The Foundation Certificate offers a total of nine modules designed to provide anyone starting out in the industry an excellent grounding in the core PR skills. This includes PR in context; pitching and presenting; creating, writing and selling news; digital; and finally but by no means least, personal skills. The certificate works on a points basis, which means you do not have to complete all nine courses. In my case, I selected eight courses to complete:
- Introduction to PR
- Introduction to public affairs
- Presentation skills
- Getting to grips with grammar
- Writing effective press releases
- Crisis PR in a digital world
- Climbing the PR career ladder
- How to manage your time and workload more effectively
The courses are a mixture of face-to-face full day sessions and online webinars, all of which are run by expert trainers. For my courses above, I have three full day sessions and 5 webinars, so you get a good mix of the two and the webinars fit easily into your working day. The full day sessions, besides meaning a day out of the office, have a practical focus which I am finding really helpful. For instance, last week I attended my ‘presentation skills’ full day session at PRCA offices in London and this involved presenting three different presentations to the group throughout the day. We also got the chance to watch a total of twenty-one presentations (everyone in the group did three!) which was hugely helpful to observe and learn what works and what doesn’t in presentations.
Another part of the full day courses that I have found really interesting is the opportunity to get out there and meet other people in similar roles and with similar experiences. It is a great chance to chat to others and exchange tips, while developing skills and knowledge to construct successful PR campaigns. For me working in the consumer sector, it has also given me more of an insight to what B2B PR entails.
Now half-way through completing my PRCA Foundation Certificate, I am gaining more and more interest and knowledge in the industry and enjoying putting the skills I have been learning into practice at work. I would encourage anyone starting a career in PR, whether it be at the start of your working life or if you’re looking for a career change, to consider the Foundation Certificate to find out more about all of the essentials skills needed in PR.
I have one full day course and three webinars left to go, with this week calling for a webinar on crisis PR in a digital world…let’s hope I don’t have to put this one into practice too soon!
For more information, check out the PRCA website: http://www.prca.org.uk/pr-public-relations-qualification-beginner-foundation-course-level-training-uk.
Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.