Professional Development – how do you compare to your peers?

24 September 2019

PRINZ has released the key findings from the latest PRINZ Research First Insights Report that examines members’ engagement level, approaches and attitudes towards professional development.

The report revealed the findings below.

  • PRINZ members are enthusiastic users of PD, with over 80% of members attending a PD course in the last year and the average number of hours spent on PD per year being around 23
  • This average is skewed by the nearly one quarter of members (22%) who attend PD weekly (or more than once a week).
  • In general, PR practitioners split into essentially four groups – those who attend PD once a week or even more frequently (22%); those who attend PD monthly (26%); those that do so every three months (23%); and those who attend once every 6 months or even more infrequently (29%)
  • This behaviour is also reflected in very positive attitudes towards PD among members – with 89% saying it was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’.
  • Many of those using PD do so on their own accord, rather than having it as part of a formal development plan or provided through their employer
  • The most common kind of PD is industry events, and especially local events.
  • PRINZ’s PD scores highly: 58% of members said they had attended a PRINZ short course at some point; 39% had taken part in a PRINZ webinar; and 39% said they had attended the PRINZ conference (the scores for the last year were 30% attending a PRINZ webinar and 17% the annual conference). Perhaps most critically, the most common way that members learned about PD opportunities was from the PRINZ weekly newsletter (82% of members cited this source).
  • Mentoring plays as important a role in members’ PD as APR (with about one-fifth of members identifying either as a key PD activity).
  • For many members, PD over the next 12 months will be about maximising value from a stable spend. This is because most members anticipate that their PD budget will stay the same across the next 12 months. A minority think it will increase (10%) and a smaller minority think it will decrease (4%).
  • As well as budget challenges, many members struggle to find time to fit PD in with their day job. About a third of respondents said the time they tried to set aside for PD was swamped by work or other life commitments.
  • The members see PD as primarily being about increasing their capability or extending their breadth of skills. Just a minority (8%) saw PD primarily as a way to increase their remuneration, and only 1% of respondents saw PD as helping establish a pathway out of PR.
  • In terms of what subjects members wanted more PD opportunities in, the most common responses were ‘digital strategy’ (77%) and ‘internal communication’ (69%). But Change communication, Stakeholder engagement, Iwi engagement, and Leadership also scored highly.
  • The 2019 survey also shows that PRINZ maintains a high level of trust and confidence among members with 80% saying they would recommend that other PR / comms professionals become members.

The full report will be available soon.

PRINZ thanks our research partner Research First for its continued support.


Have you completed your professional development plan?

The free PRINZ professional development plan is part of the PRINZ Continuing Professional Development programme where credits are accumulated for participation in professional development training and activity.

It is achievable, self-directed and a signal that professional development is important to you and to the profession. You earn credits for any verified professional development both internal and external to PRINZ.

Credits are accrued April to March and the annual CPD target is 60 credits. On completion of 60 CPD credits, a certificate of practice is awarded for achievement of the year’s continuing professional development goal (members only). Four of your CPD credits must come from ethics related activity.

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