Liam Fitzpatrick has an interesting post about advanced internal communications, although the principle would seem to apply to most marketing and public relations disciplines.
On his courses he finds that there is a group of people who are looking for the holy grail of internal communications – based on a perceived insecurity within the internal communications community that means it’s always searching for something new and better to improve on current practices.
Yet Liam’s come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing:
The truth is that in IC, like most branches of human activity, nothing much actually changes that dramatically. If you think that somewhere someone is doing “really advanced” ninja-level IC you’re probably going to be disappointed.
I think he’s right, and the same applies to most marketing and public relations areas.
From my experience practitioners know more than they apply. Those with a sound theoretical grounding don’t always get to put it all into practice all the time. Putting knowledge into action is an inevitable compromise between what “should” be done, based on the theory, and what “can” be done given the practical constraints of the operational situation.
Yes, professions do advance in their body of knowledge, but only relatively slowly with a combination of academics and early-adopters driving the pace. For most practitioners the advanced practice comes from being able to put into play more of what they know than usual.
So instead of focussing on trying to achieve that advanced level, try thinking about what you know already and how you could improve putting it into action better next time around.