Now, let me preface this by saying that I'm the first one to admit that there is such a thing as a stupid question.
Come on, don't defend it. We've all heard the adage that "there is no such thing as a stupid question." But if we're being honest here, that's simply not true. I personally know this in large part because I've asked PLENTY of stupid questions in my time.
Still, managers have made careers (or at least motivational posters) out of this phrase (cynics have made their own posters, as well). And it's partly (or even mostly) true. Employees benefit from being in an environment where questions and open dialogue are encouraged, not shunned. After all, an intern can't simply Google "how should I pitch this byline article." That being said, I bet everyone has seen someone take this mantra to its extreme - as a free pass to abandon their own creative and problem-solving faculties.
This is all part of why I'm of the opinion that the ability to ask the right questions is one of the greatest tools in predicting their future success in the workplace - PR or otherwise. Entire careers are built off of having the gift of asking the right questions at the right time (reporters, lawyers, salespeople). PR is no different. I help run Prosek Partners' internship program and I can say that one of the biggest things I look at when interviewing a candidate (or in evaluating their performance) is their ability to ask the right questions. We can't (and don't) expect people to know everything about PR or about the financial services industry. But we do prefer if they can ask smart, targeted questions that will get them on the road to understanding.