Can you stand another blog post filled with good advice?
This week’s wise words came from Bruce Bobbins, executive vice president at Manhattan-based PR firm DKC. Among DKC’s 200 clients are governments, nonprofits and major corporations from Aeropostale to Yahoo with companies including Coca-Cola, Delta, Jaguar, Marvel, the Knicks, and dozens of other internationally-known brands. During a visit arranged by Hofstra PRSSA President Nathalie Retana, Bruce hosted 20 Hofstra students and me last Friday, and over pizza and soft drinks shared his personal and professional insights on what it takes to do public relations well.
Bruce said he’s enjoyed every minute of his three decades in PR. But like many senior PR people, he didn’t go to college to learn public relations. Bruce wanted to be a sportscaster, but when an internship at a PR firm turned into a job offer, he seized upon it. He found he was attracted to public relations initially because he enjoyed writing, and emphasized to the students the importance of the “3 C’s” of good writing–clarity, conciseness and creativity.
Bruce described good PR people as “three-headed monsters.” He said that effective public relations practitioners have three job descriptions: they have to be journalists and good story-tellers, they should be salespeople so they can create and maintain good client and media relationships, and they must be strategic counselors who guide their organizations through the often treacherous maze of public opinion. “You can do well in this business doing two of these three functions. But you’d do better if you can do all three.”
Bruce also spoke about empathy. “Be compassionate,” he told the students. He suggested that doing PR well also means caring about those who you can help through nonprofit organizations, and the people whose lives are improved because of social responsibility and good work your clients can do.
Finally, Bruce told his young guests that going to work every day has to be fulfilling. “Love what you do, have passion for it.”
Bruce and I are of the same generation and had very different PR careers, but I couldn’t agree more. Your thoughts?