While talking about recruiting, I said that I’d always prefer to recruit a PR person because it was easier to teach a PR person social media than it was to teach a social media person PR.
Some people nodded in vociferous agreement, while others shook their heads and tweeted in dismay.
I stand by my assertion, and I find it remarkable that anyone would dispute it.
Public relations is a very broad discipline with a wealth of specialties and academic knowledge to draw upon. You can’t quickly teach public relations strategy and theory on the job. It’s easier to train people in the individual skills and tactics that are part of the public relations toolkit. What’s in that toolkit is constantly changing and updating, but the fundamental principles of reputation management, engagement, dialogue, and relationship management remain.
The danger of recruiting a social media expert is that you’ll get someone who is brilliant at using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but doesn’t know how to strategically use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for public relations.