Three months into the New Year, it’s time to reflect on how resolutions are going. Resolutions typically involve taking steps to improve aspects of your life. A common area that we all want to improve is our career. Did you make goals to grow in public relations like I did but have struggled to keep up with them all? If so, below are three steps to improve your communications skills and help you reach your goals:
1. Write more often
Writing is the foundation of PR and all communications jobs. It’s essential to continue working and practicing even when you have completed school. Trust me; I know it seems like such a task; where do you even start when you don’t have a school assignment to guide you?
Start small. Buy yourself a journal or use one that you already have. Set a timer and write. Write about your day, your room, anything around you. This practice is something I’ve been trying to implement a few times a week. I had gotten out of this habit, so that makes it more challenging. But, when I finish writing and realize how quickly the time went by, I feel more accomplished knowing I am improving my writing skills.
2. Read every day
Along with writing more, reading is a fun way to improve your communications skills. You can read anything that interests you, any genre. Reading improves your vocabulary and teaches you new writing styles and methods. For me, it also gets me off my phone.
Choose a book and bring it with you. I like to read on my Kindle because it’s easy to carry around. Set a goal of how many books you want to read and base them on what you like and want to learn. You’ll gain knowledge, vocabulary, and an improved memory quicker than you realize.
3. Consume other media
Professional development can be fun if you pick classes that interest you. There are so many topics related to PR and communications, especially for those of us starting. There’s a wide variety of courses that can benefit you – digital media, marketing, analytics, and many of the courses are free and end with a certification that clients and your employer will find valuable.
Other media can inspire you and help you create new content. Listen to podcasts, watch new movies, do things that spark creativity. Creating media and campaigns is one of the reasons I started in PR, and conscious media consumption can help you learn something new to implement.
Resolutions are complicated, and sometimes I think we set ourselves up for failure by making them too challenging. Tackle your goals by breaking them down into tangible benchmarks you can monitor and hit. Do that with your writing, reading, and other media consumption, and watch how you turn into a better PR professional. You’ll be hitting your career goals in no time!