There has been a lot of research over the last couple of years to recognise the shift between a media relations based model of working, to instead becoming a crucial part of management consultancy. It’s a never-ending quest of self-improvement and ambition.

When it comes to analysing the PR workflow three projects come to mind:

  • The PRstack project saw PR professionals put their commercial interests behind them to crowdsource several published books and categorise 250+ third party tools. In my opinion this is primarily a tools based project, rather than a cultural challenge initiative. I even joined in;
  • The ambitious #FuturePRoof project that gained momentum from #PRstack to start the biggest conversation about the future of PR;
  • The tireless work by PR software designer Frederik Vincx to outline how to improve the workflow of your PR team. His neat infographic provides an outline of how to improve your workflow as a PR team.

These are valuable public initiatives of rethinking the future of PR, which I use to help inform practical consultancy and client approaches. Beyond public thought-leadership lurks a world of multiple PR consultancies that are working towards one common goal; staying relevant in an industry thwart by digital change.

It’s recognised that there are many aspects PR needs to improve on, particularly measurement and paid-for activities (such as social advertising). I believe one of the biggest barriers to successful PR is a basic one: the challenge of learning in a busy “always on” industry. If you work as a digital specialist for a large organisation then the only thing holier than your “hipster jeans” is your knowledge (I wear a suit…).

In reality, most challenges in the PR industry are only going to be solved outside of billable time — unless recognised to have a significant business value to warrant fast internal investment. Creating a PR workflow for learning is about recognising the importance of learning as a team, its impact on providing consultancy, and then finding a routine.

Really all members of a PR team should be spending at least an hour reading every day, otherwise how will your consultancy be up to scratch? So forget complicated organisational changes, start by reading first.

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