Back-to-school tools for PR professionals

By J.D. Bruewer

The paper and backpacks have taken over the aisles in local stores and, even though it still feels like summer, thoughts are turning to back to school.

Most of us are a few years past the days of new pencils and book bags, but it’s never too late to learn.  Whether you want to learn a new skill or hone some old ones, there are many options.  Here are a few.

J.D. Bruewer is a communications specialist at Hamilton County Job and Family Services.

J.D. Bruewer is a communications specialist at Hamilton County Job and Family Services.

Coding: This TED Talk argues that knowing how to use applications doesn’t make one a digital native.  Fluency comes from knowing how to create new apps and technology. The link also provides 10 places where anyone can learn to code.

Public relations: If you are reading this, you are likely a public relations professional, but are you accredited? The Cincinnati chapter of PRSA can help with the APR process.  You can hone your skills and earn recognition for your abilities.

Copywriting: I think the best way to learn to write is to read good stuff.  Earlier this year Hubspot created a list of 10 companies that do it right. The page includes a link to a copywriting guide as well.  The Creative Copywriter is a copywriting agency, and it also provides an informative blog on the subject, including a short list of online copywriting courses.    

Web analytics: Data is a wonderful thing, if you know how to look at it. There are many analytic tools in use and they each have some training attached. One of the most common, probably because it’s free,  is Google Analytics.  In the Analytics Academy, you can take lessons, test your knowledge and share it with the community.

Video: Video is a key part of many public relations efforts. Technology allows anyone to shoot video. There are endless lists of tips and tricks online.  If you’d like some hands-on learning, PRSA Cincinnati has an event later this month.

Graphic design:  Looking to improve your design skills, or gain a better understanding of design concepts? These Ted Talks will start you in the right direction.  If that’s not enough, here are 50 more.

Where do you go online to learn new skills or beef up the ones you have? Share them with me at