Beyond the BS – Are Communicators Dedicated to Continuing Education?

Yesterday, IABCTT hosted a training event of interest to me. I did not go. Neither did two communication colleagues. Why? Work did not fit the bill. For less than a new pair of shoes/purse/handbag/dinner out – we could have met with communication professionals to discuss the impact of social media. As I awoke this morning to blog I thought – Are we, as professionals, really dedicated to improving our skills and craft?

My answer  – not if doing so is “hard”. At a conference this weekend, Lara Mc Culloch asked approximately 120 Caribbean Event professionals how many were using Twitter and LinkedIn – the number of hand that stayed glued to laps was astounding – almost as astounding as the few Communications Professionals that attended the conference – so few it was shocking.

What’s the link between Twitter and continuing education? Enter Mashable.com, Melcrum.com, upcoming.com, iabc.com or hundred of online access to research, statistics and tips on constantly improving the Corporate Communication toolkit or adapting our craft to an ever focused on ROI world. In fact, honestly, the first time I READ the term Return on Investment, I’m fairly sure it was in an IABC discussion.

So what do we do?

  1. Set up a “Education Savings Acccount” – We’ve heard pay yourself first. Now adapt that to invest in yourself! Each month, save a few hundred dollars in an education account – for yourself! Not just for kids! That way, when your training budget gets declined due to budget cuts (it happens), you will AT LEAST be able to afford local resources
  2. Read & Listen  – Web 2.0 is a financially challenged individuals best resource when it comes to staying on top of news, events and the evolution of our field. Follow fellow communicators like @judettepuglisi, @iabc or even @danijones (ok that’s me) on Twitter to be referred to articles/ blogs and news your peers (or mentors) are reading & read them too. At
  3. Network – If you are missing that cocktail, you are missing an opportunity to learn from peers and do “social research”. Ask CEOS, business professionals and average folks who their Corp Communications person is, what challenges are facing their marketing teams or how they view the Communications field in general. ASk them what would “sell them” on Communication’s worth to their business. See what team building initiatives different companies have. Networking is a GREAT way (if done well) to keep your name and interest out there AND assist you in staying abreast in current if not emerging trends of thought about our field.
  4. Cough It Up – Skip a few dinners and do a few extra classes. We’re paid to be creative thinkers but really we’re paid to strategically map out ways to keep our companies “top of mind” – to do that requires continued inspiration and education. Attend a damn training session.
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2 Responses to “Beyond the BS – Are Communicators Dedicated to Continuing Education?”

  1. Laura Asbjornen Says:

    Hey loved this! I feel so removed from IABCTT I dont think I received an email on the event!

  2. Christine Francois Says:

    Bitter medicine maybe however I agree. What’s the old adage? “…tastes awful but it works”. The session was actually titled “Innovation for Survival: Turning Experience into Business Opportunity” and as the VP for Professional Development I was there. Excellent speakers, thought-provoking discussion, great advice and of course there was the ever-critical networking experience.

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