Today I presented “People Development and Mentoring in Public Relations” to the PRCA membership, in its weekly Zoom meet up.

When I was asked to speak and to confirm my topic, I had to think hard, because every week since late April, PRCA has held these talks and I didn’t want to cover the same thing as someone else.

One thing I’m guilty for is thinking that whatever I think, is obvious to other people. Most often, it’s not. That’s why I started to my podcast as a way of unleashing my thinking, as on blogs, it can be difficult.

I picked people development and mentoring because I believe in it but also because I don’t believe agencies and organisations invest adequate time in developing plans for their people.

In addition, I don’t think we have the ‘right’ role models in place for sustainable, ethical, modern and progressive PR businesses/teams. Our leaders shouldn’t be saying “I don’t need to do learning and development, I’ve been around long enough.” That’s a) not an example to set and b) you couldn’t be more wrong. Nothing stands still. Our skills should be evolving as fast as tech is, but the truth is, we’re still ‘waiting’ for that generational shift, to allow us really flourish.

Key takeaways:

  • Keep learning. You’re never too senior.
  • CPD doesn’t mean a long and official process. You’re most likely already continuing to learn.
  • The only constant is change, especially now, so be agile and be ready to fill the skills gaps accordingly.
  • Don’t wait to be spoon-fed. Take responsibility and go and get it!
  • Consider mentoring as a development opportunity for both mentee and mentor.
  • Mentoring allows an honest look at your business. It could provide solutions to your problems.
  • Mentoring also helps you shape the next generation and future leaders. Consider it a privilege.
  • Continue to share learnings and best practice. Collaboration is key.

People development and mentoring is also about think about culture, diversification of skills, thinking and people. It’s about empowering people to be the best they can be. Great leaders will inspire, empower and lead.

Last week, I launched my own mentoring and development coaching plan because over the years of having worked with agency owners and ‘Heads of’, plus having been a mentee and mentor, I have experienced and learned from my experiences, which I want to share.

If you know me, you’ll know I’m a people person. I always want to help. My experience has already helped two consultants grow and develop confidence, and now I’m working with an agency head to help her stop the treadmill and start to lead the business, shaping it and making it resilient.

I’ve got another two mentees signed up too, and can’t wait to help them. Equally, I’m learning more about the challenges our industry faces as we have accelerated into digital due to COVID, so I can use my data-led brain to help others.

If you watch the PRCA video online (when it’s available), and have any queries, let me know. Similarly if you need my support to help navigate your people and business through the ups and downs just now, I’ve got capacity for more mentoring and coaching, plus consultancy, from November.

Thanks for stopping by! Please consider sharing this post in your network if you think it’ll help other people.