The PR sector is constantly reinventing itself. From responding to the challenges posed by new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, to the changing ways in which we all interact with customers, colleagues and friends.

Communication tools rarely stay the same. Think about the way we all use mobile technology compared with three, five and even ten years ago. Think about the possibilities to interact with others this has created.

As public relations professionals we understand the importance of keeping up-to-date the vital skills we use to help our clients engage with others and this means that we spend time investing in developing those skills, recognising industry best practice and harnessing new opportunities.

An important aspect of this work is taking part in an annual programme of training, known as Continuous Professional Development.

Unlike many professions, in Public Relations there is no mandatory requirement for PR practitioners to take part in CPD training, however, we believe it is something which any PR professional worth their salt should actively embrace.

It’s not only good practice, but provides opportunities for practitioners to develop new skills, refresh old ones, and of course keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends. These are just some of the reasons why at Cannon PR we believe is good practice and why all members of staff employed within the business actively participate in their own CPD training programme.

So why is this important?

Well, firstly it reflects our own commitment to the industry: Public Relations attracts practitioners from many different backgrounds, but we have always felt it’s important to invest time in keeping our skills up-to-date – it also provides opportunities for experienced, senior practitioners to come together to share and celebrate best practice.

Ultimately it’s a win-win. For clients it illustrates an agency’s commitment to delivering effective, ethical communications strategies – but crucially it also illustrates that they are committed to uphold the highest standards of professional PR practice. A commitment to undertaking CPD illustrates a commitment to the profession.

When looking to appoint a PR professional – whether a member of staff, freelance consultant, or indeed an agency, taking part in the CPD programme as laid down by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations or indeed the PRCA, is a commitment to the industry.

As part of our commitment, we also encourage our staff to use their skills to help others – with time set aside in the business to enable members of staff to give something back to the communities we serve. Previous examples of this work has included supporting the Scout Association in South Yorkshire, Dalton Parish Council and even Rotherham’s Gallery Town regeneration project.

So if you’re thinking of hiring a PR specialist to support your business, always ask about their membership to professional bodies such as the PRCA or CIPR and be sure to ask about CPD!