Published: Aug 12, 2020
Last Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Staying up to date in an industry that’s constantly evolving, like public relations, isn’t easy. A lot has changed since the days of faxes and physical media directories. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic unleashed changes that seemed unthinkable just a few months ago. 

The ability to adapt and capitalize on recent trends is crucial for any successful PR pro. One of the ways I ensure I have a finger on the pulse of the industry’s challenges, opportunities and trends is by following thought leaders in the industry who do this best. 

Here are some of the voices that inspire me and keep me informed: 

Michael Smart

If your job involves securing earned media coverage, you should be following Michael Smart. I was introduced to Michael Smart years ago when I took one of his PR training courses. Michael is an earned-media genius, and I can’t speak highly enough about the value I’ve gotten out of his media relations suggestions, reminders and techniques. 

He was the first person I turned to when we started seeing the impact of COVID-19 in our industry, and his advice for managing and pivoting your PR strategy during a crisis was invaluable. Signing up for his newsletter gives you access to some of Michael’s best free resources and notice of upcoming webinars that are not only informative, but quite enjoyable! 

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is a longtime friend of Idea Grove and the creator of Spin Sucks, a must-read professional development blog for PR and marketing pros. She is best known for coining the term "PESO model" to describe how public relations is increasingly integrated with other forms of digital marketing. 

She regularly tweets out links to informative PR resources and details about Q&A sessions. I’ve also found a lot of value from joining the Spin Sucks community hosted on Slack.

Shel Holtz

Shel Holtz is a prolific communications thought leader and is probably best known for creating the first and longest-running public relations-focused podcast. I first discovered Shel’s For Immediate Release podcast while in college, and it’s been a consistent resource for me ever since. 

He also shares links to helpful articles and other related resources for communication leaders through his blog, social media accounts and email newsletter. 

Sarah Evans

As one of the most powerful names in the PR world, Sarah Evans lives, breathes and tweets all things digital PR. She is the founder of Sevans Strategy and Sevans Digital PR and was named one of the “Top Women in PR” by PR News in 2018. She works with companies worldwide to create and improve their social and digital PR strategies.

Follow her on Twitter to know what’s trending in PR and social. She also just came out with a once-weekly newsletter that shares one tip or resource focusing on building influence. 

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About the Author

Sarah Jenne
Sarah Jenne
As a public relations specialist, Sarah contributes to Idea Grove by practicing her proven media relations skills, exercising her ability to dig deep into industry trends, nurturing strong relationships with reporters and consistently exceeding client expectations. Her industry experience includes all things B2B tech and higher education.

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