A good friend recently made a comment that initially shocked me. Then, after I’d thought about it, it made total sense. Basically, our industry overflows with beginners and with “experts” having only entry-level skills. She said that every week journalism, public relations, and marketing pros reach out to her privately, asking for help on social media, completely embarrassed about their lack of skills. They were overwhelmed by all the information out there and had no idea where to start. Clients (or employers) were asking for help, but these professionals didn’t have the requisite skills. Is this you? You’re not alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and you might be shocked to find out you are not in the minority. It seems to be one of our industry’s best kept secrets. But it is time to start learning. Your clients need your help. Every PR professional comes to the table with a different background and mix of skills. Top that with a blizzard of changes in our field, and it’s sheer craziness. Every one of us must learn a new way of doing business and achieving results. We are all beginners, even though some of us are at different stages of the journey. So, be bold and fearless. Reach out for the skills you need without worrying about what others think. Who cares? Don’t you wonder what knowledge gaps they are hiding? Even self-proclaimed experts and gurus continually learn new skills, make mistakes every day, and walk into some projects completely clueless. I know I do—and that’s perfectly OK with me. It’s how progress is made. It’s also a hazard of working in an industry undergoing historic change. What scares me is the flip side—not learning, not exploring, and not moving forward with a fierce curiosity. So, man the torpedoes and full speed ahead. If you keep pushing forward and making the effort to learn, then you are a rock star who will lead the industry one day.
If you’re not, then pull up your big girl panties or Underoos and get to work. There’s fabulous stuff to learn out there waiting for you, and it puts more money in your pocket. Trust me. Carrie Morgan is a 20-plus year public relations veteran based in Phoenix, specializing in digital PR. A version of this story first appeared on the Rock The Status Quo blog. (Image via)