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Many CIPR members are finalising or reviewing their 2020/21 professional development and start planning ways to enhance their practice in the coming year.

CIPR Public Services Committee member Suzie Evans highlights why as PR practitioners, we should reset, renew and review our communication values.

Suzie writes

Suzie Evans portrait picture

It is time for us all to reset, renew and assesses our communication values, and to remember why we were first attracted to public sector work and why what we do matters?

The new communication team in the United States’ White House has brought with them their own tone, style, and intent and it has been extremely interesting to watch. It has made me consider my own personal tone, style, and intent. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I can truly say that I have been living my values.

There seems to have been a widespread apathy towards new year’s resolutions this year. Many of us aren’t in a position to conquer the world during 2021. Some of us are barely hanging on by a thread and lots of us need to focus on healing this year rather than progressing.

Renewal across our lives

But one theme that keeps popping up seems to be ‘renewal’. Whether it’s a renewal of focus, or energy or just getting back to the basics of ‘what really matters’.

In work terms, this could be good for business, but also serve to bolster our inner reserves. For people attracted to public sector work, ‘helping others’ and ‘making a real difference’ often comes high up on our personal agenda. But right now, many of us are weary, depleted and have tired brains.

However, reminding ourselves why we do what we do, and how we want to go about doing it can be a tonic. It can blow away the cobwebs and give us a much needed boost.

My good friend and colleague Lou Booth uses the concept of values as a fundamental part of her work as a Wellness Coach. She told me: “Values are simply the things that are important to our life. Values are part of our indemnity and help motivate us, providing a deep inner resilience and energy, especially in tricky times.”

Lou added: “Values are our life’s compass and when we live aligned to our values system life definitely tends to be more rewarding and fulfilling.”

Linking practice to personal values

I recently sat down with a pen and paper and renewed my own vows to my practice. I reminded myself of my own personal values, what I do well and how I aspire to work. I took a look at my organisation’s vision and values and refreshed my knowledge of best practice in community engagement. It was just what I needed.

Take a fresh look at your organisation’s visions and values
Renewing PR practice

Since then, I have worked with a project team to challenge and rework our approach to tackling how we need to communicate some potentially controversial regeneration plans. Our messages will now be even more transparent and direct and we will work with our residents openly to manage any issues.

I’ve also applied for a course that will develop my leadership and engagement skills. And I’ve committed to writing my first blog in five years, this one, on a topic that I am passionate about.

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) members will soon embark on the next year of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) practice, from 1 March 2021. It’s timely to think about renewing our intentions and looking at how aligned our work is with our values.

What can we do to renew our practice?

  • Write down your values – make a list of the ones that you want to focus on, or think are important
  • Review your personal brand – there’s some really useful content on the CIPR website that will contribute to your CPD points
  • Look at your organisation vision. This is something I recommend doing regularly, especially at the start of a new big project
  • Renew our vows – refresh your memory of the CIPR’s Code of Conduct
  • Sense check your work – take advantage of sharing your office or virtual office with a non-communications person
  • Follow your heroes – switch up your news feeds with more best practice and experts

The resource that I have found most useful so far is the CIPR employability Hub videos. The video by Victoria Tomlinson about creating and promoting your personal brand was really helpful for me.

Thanks to Suzie for sharing her thoughts on this important topic to our profession and to Abha for supporting the work on the blog.

Top tips on CPD

Abha Thakor, our CPD-lead, shares an update on the support for professional development provided via the CIPR and the Local Public Services group.

We continue to share practitioners recommendations and suggestions for resources from their CPD cycle from 2020-21. Every day in January 2021 we had a top tip box that appeared on this site with a book, article or video which one of our members had found useful. We are also sharing some of these top tips and reading lists in our social media groups on Facebook and Twitter. If you have a resource to share, you can send them to our group email.

If you missed Suzie’s top tip from last month, check it out below.

“Whether you are looking to change jobs or just want to grow and develop for future opportunities, make a commitment to continually learn and upskill. It can make all the difference to your outlook and your prospects.” Suzie Evans MCIPR @ciprlps #CIPRLearn #CIPRCPD
CIPR Local Public Services Committee

Suzie’s top tip

“The resource I have found most useful so far is the CIPR employability Hub videos.

“The video by Victoria Tomlinson about creating and promoting your personal brand was really helpful for me. Whether you are looking to change jobs or just want to grow and develop to stand yourself in good stead for future opportunities, making a commitment to continually learn and upskill can make all the difference to your outlook and your prospects.”

Join the CIPR and take part in CPD and supporting PR practitioners

Suzie Evans is a member of the CIPR. She joined the institute in 2020 and began her first round of continuous professional development (CPD). She became a member of the Local Public Services committee this year and is keen to encourage other communicators to join the institute and benefit from and contribute to its work.

She gained her CIPR-accredited BA Hons in Public Relations in 2000 at UCLAN. Suzie works as a Strategic Communications Manager for Lancashire County Council, overseeing a range of large scale economic development projects, consultations and behaviour change campaigns for the county.  

You can join the CIPR Local Public Services’ Facebook and LinkedIn groups and follow the event listings on this site to share your favourite CPD resources during February 2021.

Thanks to Suzie Evans and Abha Thakor for work on this post and related materials, and to all the practitioners who have been sharing their tips. Follow @ciprlps on Twitter.

Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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