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Curiosity made the PR pro

Richard Fogg
Richard Fogg

Written by
Helen Carney
Published date
25 May 2016

CCgroup CEO Richard Fogg

Last month, LCC’s MA Public Relations students were recently joined by guest speaker and CCgroup CEO Richard Fogg, who offered his professional insight into what the future holds for public relations graduates. Here he shares some tips and advice for new PR professionals.

Recently I had the pleasure of guest lecturing at London College of Communication. My subject was the ‘Future of PR Talent and Skills’. And it’s only in building this kind of talk that one realises the vast and possibly unfair array of values, behaviours and capabilities the industry expects from the next cohort of PR grads.

As the head of a tech PR agency – specifically a London PR company – I’ll have a different view to many (possibly even more demanding), but even I understand how ridiculously absurd the PR industry’s demands appear. So let’s strip it back. Let’s focus on one value and one behaviour. Let’s think about ‘curiosity’ and ‘always learning’ and how we can nurture PR pros of the future.

The only constant in PR over the last decade is change. Change that is accelerating by the day. And the only way to keep abreast of these changes is to immerse yourself in industry conversation. I find there are three main methods of learning that help me hold on to the coat tails of an industry in near constant flux: reading, listening and participating.

Here are some of my ‘go to’ sources. There are many more, but there’s no point in trying to do everything at once and these are what I keep coming back to.

Reading. There’s no shortage of words written about PR. But these are my favourites:

  1. PR Week – the obvious choice really (everyone seems to read it), good on news (wins, issues etc), but for me doesn’t do enough on the insight side of things.
  2. PR Moment – a more light-hearted take on the PR industry, but tackling some of the big issues head on. I’d argue it’s more pragmatically useful for those in the earlier stages of their careers.
  3. Holmes Report – for me, the gold standard of PR industry reporting. Great news output, but it’s the long form content and opinion that I love – if you want to know where PR is going, you’ll find out here.
  4. Stephen Waddington’s Blog – I tend to avoid personal blogs of PR pros and agencies, but Waddington’s ability to curate and create interesting content is second to none. He can’t sleep much.


Listening.
Podcasting has changed my life. Much more efficient than reading, these are the best IMO:

  1. Holmes Report – Echo Chamber: really good quality analysis of trends, with interviews with some of the PR industry’s leaders.
  2. Wag The Dog FM: quirky, European podcast that explores some of the more ‘out there’ ideas. Gone quiet recently, but the back catalogue is gold.
  3. For Immediate Release: this is a podcast network, so there are about ten different podcasts. Some of them are great – the weekly ‘FIR’ podcast is a brilliant round-up of news that affects communicators and ‘Inside PR’ is a good quickfire summary of key themes.

 

Participating. Two free initiatives and three great conferences well worth your time (you’ll have to speak to the organisers about your money!):

  1. PRstack – one of the most useful resources ever created for those of us feeling our way in the use of new and emerging PR tools. The free e-books are simply brilliant.
  2. FuturePRoof – a great initiative that claims to be ‘The biggest conversation ever around the future of public relations’, and I can’t see many other contenders. Free e-book is well worth a read.
  3. FutureComms – a day-long conference on the future of communications, well worth a look if you can get there.
  4. In2 Summit – the EMEA event is in Berlin this year, so not the most accessible, but last year’s London event was brilliantly useful.
  5. PR Moment Events – I absolutely love PR Moment events and attend them whenever I can. Half days, strong speakers, decent networking and thought-provoking, actionable content. Highly recommended.

There is no one source that can help you understand the evolution of the PR industry. But a mixture of reading, listening and participating, with a selection of the sites, podcasts, initiatives and events above, will stand you in excellent stead. Now, let your curiosity get the better of you, and go learn.

 

Words by Richard Fogg
CEO, CCgroup
@telcogeek

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