From the time I started my first "formal" public relations job, I got the feeling that being a PR professional was some sort of secret society. Unfortunately, that pervasive view has not helped the old generation of PR professionals learn how to deal with the new media that's so pervasive in our work lives.
The new professionals being cranked out by old-school PR programs are receiving mixed messages. A professor at an Arizona university pulled Todd Defren's brilliant PR-Squared blog from her reading list. Odd, old school pitches are being received by bloggers from stymied PR people.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is endlessly discussing the importance of learning new media, but most in the upper eshelons of the organization are not big new media users. They've voted two years in a row to disallow in inclusion of board members who don't have an APR designation. In my mind, this is similar to requiring all politicians to have a PhD. It's simply ill-advised to have so many people from such an insular background leading an organization.
So, my simple question is...when? When will rank and file PR professionals learn and practice their social media skills? I know a lot of people already have, thousands of excellent professionals. The folks I'm talking about are the 40-50-60 year olds who have been in the business for 25+ years. Where are they?