How did you learn to cook? This was the question I posed at a university teaching conference today because it seemed a useful metaphor for challenging how people learn about a practice such as public relations.
Some start with cookbooks and follow recipes. Some learn a few basic principles and improvise from that basis. Some learn by osmosis at the kitchen table. Most use a measure of trial and error. Yet few start in a lecture theatre rather than a kitchen. And surely no one learns much from the many chefs on TV. (Though, to digress, Kitchen Confidential is a great read.)
My premise is that, while theory goes hand in hand with practice, it’s probably best to start with some doing. Isn’t that also how we learnt to drive?