Whether it’s a London based public relations agency or the White House – hiring without experience is a consideration to be made in both business and governments.
Following the dramatic departure of Michael Dubke, Sean Spicer and most recently Anthony Scaramucci the most recent Communications Director fired by President Donald Trump, the administration named Hope Hicks the newest member of The White House. Hicks is the fourth Communications Director to serve under Trump’s 8-month presidential term to date.
The English-graduate who formerly worked in luxury fashion before devising PR campaigns for real estate, joined Trump’s presidential campaign five months before he officially announced presidency. Now the permanent Director of Strategic Communications and personal assistant to the president she earns a record $179,000; making her one of the 6 highest paid women in the White House in political history recognised by the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
President Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America is also the only President with no political experience or record of serving his country; most presidents either had stellar credentials in government or exceptional military backgrounds worthy of recognition.
As the youngest and one of the best paid white house staffers; the announcement sparked heated controversy regarding the 28 year old’s ability to serve in a position in which she had little to no experience adding fuel to the fire that Trump is “destroying the administrative state” through discredit and destabilisation.
So, what can we learn from the White House Communications Director with no political experience who found her way into Trump’s inner circle?
1. Build your network
Hicks had incredibly close ties to the Trump family; representing Ivanka Trump before moving to President Trump himself.
The power of building your own network is key in career development especially in PR where at the highest levels trust and leadership are strengthened through connections and relationships.
2. Own your experience
Hicks admits she knows very little about politics “running Trump’s campaign and working in DC politics are “two totally different things” she told Forbes. “You’re trying to figure everything out as it comes to you whether you have experience in it or not”. Understanding your current experience and using it to drive your professional journey is a critical.
3. Brand yourself
Comms runs in Hicks’ family – her late grandfather was a top public relations executive and her father was regional CEO for Ogilvy PR. Her PR experience therefore allowed Hicks to appropriately find her niche and position herself seamlessly; her PR skills thus have the ability to be transferred into politics.
4. Diversity factor
“It is the year of the outsider. It helps to have people with outsider perspective” Trump told Hicks. Having the courage to be an outsider gives fresh talent the genius to innovate and drive positive change, a valued trait in the ever evolving world which employers value. It gives company’s the ability to mould young professionals according to a their own culture and way of thinking.
Whether you believe that Hope Hicks was promoted to her position for genuine skill or for her loyalties to Trump, there is no doubt that the PR industry is eager to see how this current PR presidential scandal will unfold.