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3 Ways To Futureproof Your B2B PR Skills (For Free)

By Octopus Group on 19th February 2015

If you work in PR and are reading this, chances are you see the expanding PR skillset as one of the biggest challenge facing the profession – it was one of most common trends in the CIPR 2015 State of the Profession Survey

Today’s PR professionals tend to work closely with a range of other departments: from marketing to digital design teams. Being on the same page as them is vital to effective teamwork – while it can be demanding to get up to speed straightaway, there are ways to streamline the process. Here we outline three of them. These free courses and tools will help you enhance and develop skills in basic HTML, social media expertise and online analytics.

Basic HTML skills and overview courses
With online being the go-to (and in some cases, only) option for so much communication, styled emails and press releases are often created in HTML and designed in line with a set of brand guidelines. What do you do if there’s a small formatting issue with a bullet point or an inconsistency with the font? If the change can’t be made in a WYSIWYG editor, then you’ll need to find somebody with some HTML knowledge and wait for them to do it. That’s fine but not ideal if you’re working to a tight deadline. Code academy offers a free course where you learn the theory behind the basics, then complete a practical. It takes about seven hours and will empower you to make simple edits to much of your online comms.

Social media expertise tool
Social media is already a key part of many PR roles, so it’s always handy to learn something that will give you an edge. Buzzsumo is a free tool that lets you enter a search term and see the best performing posts across a range of social media, ranking them by the number of shares, retweets and likes. It also has a search engine that helps you to identify the top social influencers in a given area.

Online analytics course
While it’s common for PR professionals to work closely with marketing departments and understand online analytics, it’s useful to have a good handle on them so that they can measure and subsequently show the value of their work. Google’s Digital Analytics Fundamentals is a video-based course over 11 units that gives a good overview of the core principles of digital measurement, and how they can be used to improve business performance.

How will these skills shape your future? Completing these courses and using these tools won’t make you an expert in social media, analytics or web design, but they’ll give you a good overview. Once you have that, you can develop an appreciation and understanding of those skills, and start to have more meaningful conversations when collaborating with other departments. This will enable you to bring your PR skills in the art of brand management to those teams around you, and that will, ultimately, futureproof your business as a whole. Download Futureproofing The PR Department for more insight into safeguarding your PR department.

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