Dan shares his experience of a PRCA training day…
Few things inspire such a sense of dread in me as a PR industry training day. Sitting down at a sterile conference table covered in branded pamphlets, notepads, terrible coffee and a single sad bowl of fruit creates a feeling of fear in me akin to what you find in H.P. Lovecraft stories, where the main character catches a glimpse of the abyss, and the horror of it burns their psyche. Maybe it’s just too much like being back at school.
So imagine my surprise when the PRCA’s Account Management training day was actually very good. Far too many self-proclaimed gurus are guilty of spouting high level PR strategy without ever explaining to their listeners what steps they should take to actually enact their esoteric visions.
Thankfully this day blended tactics and strategy to create a holistic approach to training, an approach greatly helped by the day’s trainer, who provided colourful and occasionally bizarre real world examples to underline points. One standout: did you know that coverage of Mother Teresa’s death was buried because she passed away on the same day as Princess Diana? Because I didn’t.
Another standout thing that stuck was the phrase – “Think and act like you are the rank above yourself” – As fundamental wisdom goes for people looking to advance in PR agencies, this is one of the most useful pieces of advice you can hear. Impressively 8 hours was just about enough time in which to cover a slew of topics from what makes clients tick, to building out commercial skills and even how to be an inspiring leader.
But as with all day long PR training courses, there wasn’t quite enough time to get into the nitty-gritty of each subtopic. Body language is a good example. While half an hour might be enough time to tell people that it is possible to spot a lie from the way that people move their eyes, without teaching the subtleties and exceptions to the rule, people are unlikely to use this knowledge in any meaningful way.
But as that complaint basically boils down to “I wish there was more time to teach this more completely” I guess it’s not much of a complaint at all. As the trainer was keen to let us know – each topic we covered could take up an entire day in itself, but no one ever wants to sign up for a week-long training course.
So if an aspiring young PR person does want to sign up for training that will bring them to the next level, PRCA’s day sessions are a fantastic choice, delivering more tips, tricks and strategy than an 8 hour session has any right to fit in. But, because I’m averse to leaving anything on a wholly good note, when I hear that a light breakfast will be provided, I expect more than a coffee and a sad bowl of fruit for the table.
At Bright Bee, we take pride in helping our staff to continually improve and learn so they can fulfil their career potential and help make our team stronger. If you’re always willing to learn and grow, please get in touch at [email protected] We look forward to hearing from you!