Laura Russell works as the Digital Content Manager at The Publishing Training Centre, which offers a broad range of courses to help both novices and experts gain and retain skills needed to work in the industry. We asked Laura a bit more about their courses and how they remain up-to-date in the ever-changing world of publishing.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role as Digital Content Manager at The Publishing Training Centre (PTC).
I joined PTC in 2014, initially as an Administration Assistant. I had moved to London from Manchester to pursue a career in publishing, so when the opening at PTC popped up on my Facebook feed I jumped at it. Since then, I have found that my passion really lies in helping to create and maintain really good web content that helps your intended audience find what they’re looking for (and perhaps some things they didn’t know about!). I now look after not only our main website, but also our in-house e-Learning platform, which I had a big hand in developing.
Who are your courses aimed at and how accessible are they for people working in full-time jobs?
We have two main types of courses; Open and Self-Study. Open courses are aimed at those working in the industry already who want to consolidate ‘on the job’ learning. Our Self-Study courses are aimed mostly at those who would like to work freelance, and they are designed to be extremely flexible so that students can fit their learning around a current job, or family life. Our Self-Study portfolio now also includes shorter e-Learning Modules, which allow students to study a particular specialised topic following initial training.
The PTC courses are led by a network of tutors. What do you look for in your tutors and how do you form working relationships with them?
Our tutors are all keen to promote ongoing professional development in the publishing industry, and we draw from all sectors to provide a wide knowledge base for our delegates to draw on. We keep in constant contact with our tutor team, and like to arrange periodic events to bring everyone together to catch up and share ideas.
How do you stay up-to-date with what is needed in the publishing industry and ensure that your courses remain relevant?
We have a variety of methods! Key to our ongoing course development is our Advisory Panel, made up of a number of current publishing professionals from different sectors and departments. They are able to tell us exactly what their colleagues and employees (and they themselves) are looking for from their training. We also like to do our own market research to keep an ear to the ground within the freelance community.
Have you notice a demand for certain courses increase or change as the publishing industry has developed over the years?
Absolutely. Our core editorial courses are always in demand; the key with these is to make sure that the methods we teach reflect today’s working practices. Outside of this, demand is constantly evolving: in the last decade particularly, the rise of ‘digital’ has meant that there was a huge need for new courses to cover these areas and give people a foundation, but now digital is the norm the training needs have become more niche.
Are there any new courses coming out that we should look out for? What are the most consistently popular courses you offer?
As mentioned, our core editorial courses are always popular, and the feedback we get from our delegates and students is consistently excellent. In terms of new things we are offering, our portfolio of e-Learning Modules is expanding massively. These shorter, flexible online courses are a great way for us to keep up with the ever-changing training needs of the publishing community, freelance and in-house alike.