It’s tough to accept a New York hedge fund manager is leading the most influential communications office in the free world. When Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci or @RealScaramucci) was named White House Communications Director last week, the question came to mind:
Why do so many organizations hire someone without any public relations experience to be its lead communicator and manage the communications function?
We all can probably name someone with no public relations experience who was hired to lead a large communications department. They often lack in-depth knowledge of the management function of public relations. After accepting the position, some spend years learning about the profession and gain accreditation through the Public Relations Society of America or the International Association of Business Communicators. However, most organizations can’t—and shouldn’t—be providing on-the-job training and paying a top-scale salary for inexperience in this role. Others often resign or get dismissed and leave the organization’s reputation or brand in disarray.
You don’t often hear of a surgeon being hired to be a chief financial officer of a hospital or a mechanical engineer becoming chief executive officer of an arts commission. The next time you have a voice in selecting or advocating for a lead communicator, please promote the advantages of hiring a communications professional who can be a strategic leader, speak, write and provide good counsel. The organization, its stakeholders and—possibly—our country will benefit.