As digital, mobile and social media continue to assert themselves as integral components to business and communications, organizations might find it tempting to staff themselves primarily with digital natives. After all, they are increasingly setting the agenda, especially in communications.
Yet amazed as we all are at the increasing power and innovation of digital and the people who have mastered it, we should not forget that it is the wisdom, temperance and insights of experienced professionals—often forged over decades spent meeting real-world business and communications challenges—that also adds considerable value for clients.
The goal of an organization should be to apply sound management and structure to intermediate these two distinctly different skill sets. Drawing on the core strengths of both will amplify the sound judgment of experienced professionals with the optimal application of emerging communication tools. Not only does this add tremendous value to clients, it also greatly strengthens cross-generational teams and the long-term stability of an organization as a whole.
Porter Novelli recently launched a real-time reputation specialty that partners experienced, veteran crisis communication professionals with some of our most accomplished and innovative social media experts. Our crisis experts are able to impart the experience they have acquired mitigating serious issues, while younger staffers are able to share their knowledge of social media as a tool to engage, communicate and change opinion. This best-of-both-worlds approach has proven to be incredibly beneficial to clients, while simultaneously creating an energized and vibrant atmosphere within the agency.
Organizations should avoid a false choice between seasoned professionals and digital natives, and seek solutions that allow all employees to collaborate and contribute from the top of their skill sets. To do otherwise could cause organizations to undervalue some of their strongest assets and talent.