Core Training is Key for our Future PR “Corps”
The Marine Corps has a grueling 86-day Infantry Officer Course in Quantico that’s designed to screen and train potential officers who might someday lead an infantry platoon into combat. According to an article in the New York Times it’s recently gone co-ed. Regardless of whether you’re male or female, the requirements for success are the same: you better be one super physically and mentally fit individual before tackling this career track. If you don’t have that critical core of fitness and practical knowledge, you will fail (or injure yourself – or even die, as has happened in this program.)
Reading the article got me thinking about the “corps” of PR hopefuls that send cover letters and resumes our way during the year. How fit for service is this new generation of PR professionals? They’re not learning core skills in college (almost no one who we interview has been taught how to practically use basic agency tools, such as Cision, for example). Virtually none have role-played how to pitch a story to a reporter or blogger. Few understand the difference between PR strategy and tactics. And most all cite “people skills” as their key reason for seeking a PR career, versus those core capabilities that would actually qualify them as a great choice.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s no comparison between the sacrifices our servicemen and women make and the work we do at a PR agency. But no matter what your job, honing the core skills needed to execute it well will give you an edge and help you survive when the going gets tough.
Photo courtesy of surfingsanders on Flickr.