Workin’ out your PR muscle

How many of you made a New Year’s resolution to work out more this year? I bet there’s quite a few. But, how many of you made a resolution to learn more about PR – read more blogs, perfect your LinkedIn profile, meet with more professionals, etc.? Perhaps not quite as many. As it turns out, the two are much more related than you may have thought!

For all my fitness gurus and aspiring PR pros out there, here’s how the PR world is a lot like a trip to the gym…

1. Make it a habit. Consistency is key! Just as it’s important to work out a few times each week, it’s important to make a habit of learning more about PR as well. Set aside an hour every other day (or even once per week) dedicated solely to the world of public relations. Whether it’s reading PR Daily, joining a Twitter chat, or re-doing your resume, schedule in your “PR education” time just like you would a meeting, class, or trip to the gym!

2. Use different muscles. Fitness gurus know that the best way to get results is to mix up your workouts. A little Zumba, some yoga, a morning run – these help target different parts of your body to improve your fitness regimen. When learning more about the PR world, stretch different “muscles!” Talk to professionals in different sectors – agency, nonprofit, corporate, government. Read different public relations blogs and publications (see below!). Develop different skills, like Adobe Creative Suite or Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.

3. Lead a fit lifestyle. Working out daily is great, but it’s equally important to eat healthy, stay hydrated, and sleep. Don’t confine your PR workouts to only once per day or week; practice having a PR state of mind all of the time! First of all, always carry your business cards and look out for opportunities to learn. See news events or crisis situations through the eyes of a public relations practitioner and see how their PR team handled it.

Image courtesy of manageyourbodyandmind.com

Sometimes, the most difficult part of working out is actually getting started! Here’s a list of my favorite PR-related websites, blogs, Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups, and books to give you some material to start from. Good luck! (Need a workout buddy? Tweet me @abbynicole1204 to let me know how your workout’s going and receive some encouragement!)

Public relations/social media sites to bookmark:

  • PR Daily: Bookmark it and check it daily! This website aggregates the top PR/social media/marketing posts from across the web and features them all in one place.
  • Social Media Examiner: A must-read for any young professional. The site offers social media how-to’s, from setting up a Google+ business page to measuring ROI on the most popular networks.
  • Social Media Today: This news site features a variety of posts covering the latest news in the social media world.
  • PRSSA Blog: The official blog of PRSSA National offers a little bit of everything for public relations students. From strengthening your PRSSA Chapter to connecting with local professionals to finding internships, guest writers contribute on a wide variety of topics.
  • Likeable Media: The Likeable blog covers brands and ideas that are, well, likeable! They concentrate on engagement and conversation and demonstrate how brands can improve their social media presence.
  • Other sites to bookmark: Mashable, Brian Solis 2.0, Culpwrit, PR 2.0 Strategies: Deirdre Breakenridge,Radian6,Communications Conversations, & Copyblogger

Twitter chats you don’t want to miss:

  • #prstudchat: Led by PR-pros Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon, these ladies lead great discussions for public relations students each month.
  • #pr20chat: Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., Heather Whaling and Justin Goldsborough lead a chat about public relations in today’s digital age.
  • #prssa: In addition to monthly chats, PRSSA members from across the country share relevant stories and articles via the hashtag each day.
  • Other favorites: #pr, #prbc, #HAPPO, #likeablechat, #measurePR, #crisiscomm, #prtips

LinkedIn groups:

  • Many of the above hashtag communities have their own LinkedIn groups as well, allowing for longer, ongoing coversations. My favorites include PRSSA National, HAPPO, YoungPRPros, & PRSA. In addition, join your local Social Media Club and PRSA Chapter groups to get information about local networking and learning opportunities.

Books

Whew! What a list. Do you have any to add? Let me know!

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About Abby Ecker

PR pro and healthy living blogger in the First State
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