By Gerard Braud
Five public relations veterans, pontificating and dropping F-bombs over cocktails recently at the PRSA conference, concluded the biggest problem in PR today is the lack of perseverance by those in the media relations, public relations and the communication professions.
Is this true or not true for you? Read on…
I’ll describe the group as “old salty dogs” who speak their mind and say hello to the truth and to hell with political correctness. Sitting there are a combined 150 plus years of PR experiences, including myself, three gals and another guy. The waiter has just brought the first round of drinks, so these comments have not been impaired by alcohol.
One gal said she was successful because every November, she went back to her boss and asked for budget money she had been denied earlier in the year, knowing there is always extra money in the pot. She says often she got what she asked for and sometimes more because she was “Smart enough to ask, when the rest of the dumb a**es sat with their fingers up their a**es and never asked. It was like robbing a fu*#ing bank and I walked out with all the money.”
“And if they didn’t have the money, I didn’t walk out of the office until I got a definitive answer that I’d get the money after the first of the fu*#ing year. I always finished the year strong and I hit the ground running hard on January 2nd,” she said.
“Most people today are afraid they’ll get fired if they push too hard,” I responded.
“They should be fu*#ing fired for not asking,” the other guy said. “That’s the fu*#ing problem with PR people; they’re afraid to get fu*#ing fired or quit their fu*#ing jobs. Your fu*#ing career never starts until you’re willing to quit or get fired.”
Do you ask for extra money in November? Read on…
Another veteran complained that PR people go into hibernation mode and near paralysis from Halloween to the first of March. “It’s like they surrender to the holidays until after New Years and then have difficulty regaining momentum after the first of the year. This isn’t a job that you start and stop,” she barked. “I call bull sh*t on this ‘seat at the table’ crap. You don’t deserve a fu*#ing seat if you don’t do your job 12 months out of the year.”
That lit up the discussion like throwing a match on gasoline. One gal blamed it on moms in PR not being able to comprehend that work is work and home is home. The guy said he thinks it is “the damn Gen X-Gen Ys” who aren’t as committed to their jobs and “go into lala land from Halloween to New Years.” One gal ranted about how hard she worked to establish herself in a male dominated workplace 34 years ago and how “PR people today are pissing on the trails that were blazed to make PR a credible part of corporate culture. You can’t just fu*#ing mentally shut down every winter.”
In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins made a great point that we each have to “keep the fly-wheel turning” if we want to succeed in our careers. In other words, we have to persevere to succeed.
What do you think? Is perseverance dead in PR? Do you persevere or hibernate in the winter?