What are some things I can do outside the office that will help me to become a better PR pro?

Personal development is important on every career path. The PR industry is no exception.

Personal development is important on every career path. The PR industry is no exception. Hopefully, you have taken full advantage of all the "brown bag" learning sessions that your firm, company, or local membership organization might offer. If not, get to it. For starters, here are three ways to grow as a PR pro outside the office.

Read a wide variety of publications. Try a new newspaper, magazine, journal, book, Web site, or blog each week. Take the time to read local media when you travel. You should study what is covered and by whom.

Another helpful step to sharpening your skills is seeking a mentor. Find someone outside the workplace to help you with your career. You should share your aspirations with that person, talk and listen to them, and be honest about your needs.

The third avenue for growth is being a mentor yourself. This allows you to share your experiences and the lessons you have learned. Teaching what you know sharpens your skills as a PR pro.

Greg Wilson is SVP at Levick Strategic Communications.

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