Continued Education Should Be Part of Every Digital Agency

It’s a well-known fact that marketing and public relations are two industries that are constantly in a state of change. This isn’t a bad thing, but this fact does require those working within these industries to ensure they’re up to date on the latest updates.

In order to best serve clients in the digital space, it’s highly valuable to continually invest in one’s education. But this doesn’t only fall on the shoulders of the individual employees. In fact, much of this responsibility for continued education in the digital space should fall more squarely on the companies and agencies themselves.

What do we mean by continued education, and why is this so important?

Continuing one’s education, even in our professional careers, is valuable. The fact remains that the learning process never really ends. There is always going to be a new lesson to learn, a new approach to familiarize ourselves with, a new thought leader with something to teach us. And often, there are mistakes intended to be lessons learned, too.

The term “education” make bring to mind images of classrooms and homework, but that isn’t the only option for what we’re referring to. For the most part, those working in these industries likely have some college education or formal schooling. The concept of ongoing education goes beyond this scope, though.

Think of the last networking event you attended, or the last seminar that was geared towards professionals in your industry. Can’t remember the last time you did something like this? Take a look at the local calendar and find out what opportunities may be coming up. These are often free events and are offered to help professionals network amongst themselves as well as learn something new.

Not one to enjoy large group gatherings? That’s ok! While getting out of one’s comfort zone encourages growth, some may also not learn well in this environment. Consider signing up for a webinar (many of which are free!) or grab a new book from an industry thought leader on your next shopping spree. When it’s a focal point, educational opportunity is easy to find. Even something as simple as a cup of coffee with someone you admire can be a way to learn something new. Take the time to read the news, and perhaps find an email newsletter or podcast that offers insight on your specific industry. For example, Digiday offers a daily email roundup of digital marketing headlines, as well as several podcasts designed to appeal to marketing professionals.

But why should an agency or a business invest in assisting its employees with this idea of continued education?

Well, the answer to this should really be a no-brainer. Employees who have a higher level of education, who are up to speed on the latest industry updates, will be better informed and able to perform their jobs with more information.

Yes, it’s important to keep the focus on the tasks at hand, but providing opportunities for employees to learn new things will help keep them engaged and thinking creatively. Of course, there is also a balance as the last thing an agency should be doing is imposing too many obligations on its employees.

Sometimes, simply providing the opportunity for employees to learn new skills or to network can be enough to motivate a creative increase. Look for these opportunities and watch the success of the agency grow!

Ronn Torossian is CEO and founder of 5W PR.  Torossian is a regular commentator in the media, and a native New Yorker.