Passion foR it

      47 Comments on Passion foR it

Can you stand another blog post filled with good advice?

DKC's Bruce Bobbins, surrounded by Hofstra PR students

DKC’s Bruce Bobbins, surrounded by Hofstra PR students

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?


47 thoughts on “Passion foR it

  1. kwalker222

    This was a great presentation and I’m grateful that I got to attend! I agree with everything Bruce said especially when he said PR people have to be journalists as well. It is our job to stay on top of the news and in some ways ahead of journalists to make sure our clients get the right media attention in the right places.

  2. Danielle

    I’m so happy he included being compassionate as an important characteristic. Personally, I am a very compassionate person and this is actually one of the reasons I chose to go into the public relations field. I care a lot about the people I’m close to, and working for an organization would give me that feeling of compassion as I work to do as much as I can to promote them and spread their message. This compassion will also give me the passion I need to make every day fulfilling, another important piece of advice.

  3. Whitney Shepherd (@WhitneyPRGirl)

    I think the advice that Bruce gave is very important and inspiring to future PR pros. Sometimes, the best advice comes from those currently in the field and Bruce saying that it is important to pick a job that you love and can enjoy going to every day. In order to succeed in a career you must be able to put all of you heart and handwork into it, being dedicated goes with being compassionate like Bruce stated in the post. I really like this post and the great advice.

  4. nicole_lombardo

    I like his thoughts on being compassionate. Whenever you are doing your work you have to think of the end game, who does your work affect and what is the impact it has? I like his idea of being compassionate because it reminds you to care about the work you do and who you do it for. How does the message you represent affect the people who are receiving it?

  5. Gabrielle Furman

    I think that his advice and description is true because if someone isn’t strong in one of the 3CS, but is stronger in the other two, the one that is lacking won’t be as noticeable. I haven’t been a strong writer, but improving feel that if I succeed and work on the other two Cs there can be an equal balance and everything will come together.

  6. Anjelica Johnson

    It’s important to love what you do and have a passion for it, because it will make your career/job like a chore. If you can find a job you love in a field you’re passionate about, then you’re basically set to be satisfied in the job market.

  7. Jennifer Im

    The more I learn about the PR profession, the more I feel like the career just wants people to be good people. Tell the truth, be sociable and keep up positive relationships. Thirst for knowledge. Care about what you do and know the potential consequences of your actions. That doesn’t sound like a monster to me, except in that actually fulfilling all of these criteria feels like a monstrous challenge.

  8. Devin Jaffar

    I believe that you have to love what you do. If you don’t enjoy going to work everyday, then you will never be happy. You will always look for another job. I agree with Bruce, you have to be creative to be working in the public relations field and you have to be a salesperson when it comes to building relationships with clients. The most important thing about building a relationship with a client, is keeping that relationship and not taking it for granted.

  9. Deana Meccariello

    The 3 C’s of good writing are so relevant. In an age where you only have 140 characters (if that) to get your point across, it is so important to be clear, concise and creative. The public’s attention span gets exponentially smaller in this world of newsfeeds and endless entertainment on the web. You won’t succeed unless you can keep their attention.

  10. Sarah Ramos

    Social responsibility and sharing compassion with those around you in the industry is extremely important. It is great to see Bobbins mentioning this. It’s a skill that should be used in any field especially PR.

  11. Daniel Walsh

    I tend to agree with Mr. Bobbin’s points especially about empathy. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is incredibly important and really defines the line between people who are just workers and people are workers as well as good human beings. To be a leader you need empathy to understand that everyone’s situations are different. Being a good writer is also just as important in any field and can truly make a huge impact in how seriously people take you. All in all defiantly some nice points by Mr. Bobbin’s which leaves no wonder to why he has been so successful.

  12. liadzayit

    I am so upset I wasn’t able to attend this field trip because it sounds like it was very helpful and amazing. Bruce Bobbins makes great points, I loved how he described PR people as “three headed monsters” that is an absolute perfect way to describe PR people. It is very important to love what you do because it makes your life and that day so much more enjoyable. The advice that Bruce has given although I was not at the field trip will stick with me because he makes great points. Everyone is so focused on what’s in and what’s popular, that they forget to be kind to others especially in the business aspect

  13. Sarah Abuharaz

    I’m sad I had to miss this, I would have loved to go on this trip! All these points are so helpful, I love hearing advice from the professionals. My favorite would have to be the three-headed monster. It’s a way to understand exactly what PR people do and something to strive for when starting out. Also, for him to talk about compassion stood out to me. Usually, people can take that as a cliche but it actually is really important and not just in PR but every other field. Especially in communication based fields, this is a fundamental for any professional.

  14. Felicia Colavito

    I think it’s so interesting that you and Bruce had different PR careers, yet you shared the same outlook and PR morals. This just shows that no matter what you do in PR, you can know what to expect. Hearing the three C’s makes me think of someone who’s a triple threat, actor, singer, and dancer. These three C’s Bruce describes are equal to a PR “triple threat.” Being a good storyteller, being a salesperson, and strategic counselors is almost being three majors in one, but I love every second of it. It is so important to love what you do because it makes the days that much more enjoyable. Bruce’s advice was something I will always keep in the back of my head, especially the part of remembering to be compassionate. People get so wrapped up in what’s popular, or what’s getting them the most attention, that they forget to simply be compassionate towards others, especially in this business.

  15. Doug Gillies

    Bruce Bobbins had some good points especially about the different occupational hats you have to wear as a PR practitioner. Its clear that no matter what someone does in life they wont be successful unless they care about the clients, subject or most important the results. I feel that no matter what our career goals are we need to have well-rounded characteristics. These characteristics in PR are the salesman, strategic counselor, and journalistic storyteller.

  16. sophia1212

    I agree that we should show compassion, because we are in the business of helping to create goodwill. Also, when you “love what you do,” it’s no longer a frustrating job you dread going to, and it helps to make the workload easier.

  17. Gia Palomo

    Im really happy, I was able to attend this field trip. I really learned a lot about PR and it gave me a new perspective on the field in general. I especially liked what he said about having heart because i feel like that is one thing that you can’t learn and must have. With all the examples and stories he told, it made me even more eager to get into this profession.

  18. Natalia Dutt

    This was a really good post. I like the idea of the three C’s. It is definitely something that I can carry over into the journalism world.

  19. jheiden1

    I really enjoyed having the opportunity to listen to Bruce Bobbins speak. He was incredibly knowledgeable with many different things. Additionally, Bobbins got us all to think critically. Giving us a hypothetical PR crisis scenario, we were able to consider what steps to take and how to proceed. My day at DKC was definitely a beneficial one.

  20. Nixa Blevins

    I wish I was able to go with PRSSA to visit! It is interesting to see that so many people started PR after going to college for something else. I agree with Bruce Bobbins that PR Professionals have to be good at many things and juggle several different tools. The 3 C’s are also a great thing to keep in mind!

  21. Danielle Notaro

    I found this advice to be very useful! I especially agree with the 3 c’s in regards to writing. Writing for PR should always be clear and easy to follow, to the point, and most of all creative and not bland.

  22. Jessica Vallario

    Of all the PR event opportunities offered here at Hofstra, I am thrilled that I chose to attend this one, specifically. Mr. Bobbins shared so many personal stories and insights about the PR profession. He even provided the group with some PR exercises of our own; Asking us to work through imagined PR ‘crises’.

    I think, what stuck out most to me, was how up-to-date on current events you must be to work in the field of Public Relations. Working in PR you have to be aware of everything from world news, to sports news, and everything in between.

    I am grateful for the time Mr. Bobbins took out of his bust schedule to meet with us. I am definitely inspired to attend more events like this! What a wonderful experience.

  23. Meredith O'Connor

    I especially love this article. I identify with his words because Creative writing, storytelling and being able a sales person are my three strongest skills. I have been working on the other side of the entertainment business, but even as a singer I have picked up the importance of knowing how to do what the people around you are doing. I am finding that my interest has leaned more and more to that, and reading this really made me feel confident in my decision to go after being a publicist. Thanks!

  24. Erik Freitas

    The “three headed monster” analogy really jumped off the page at me when I first read this post. I think that, not only in PR but in all industries, one must strive to become a three headed monster. Now more than ever, employers are seeking multi-talented employees in order to better consolidate their workforces. If we have better writing skills than other applicants, and we have other creative talents on top of that, our chances of getting and maintaining a job are much higher.

  25. Alexis Stringfellow

    I agree with the three-headed monster analogy because in oder to be accomplished, not only in PR but in any field, a person must have multi-faced and have a wide skill set. A person always needs strategy to figure out how to appeal to their target audience. Yet if you do not know how to relay your message clearly, all strategy goes out the window. Passion for the job and compassion for the people is what leads to success at the end of the day.

  26. kcormi2

    Being a good writer is necessary to be successful in PR. I agree with the advice that good writing consists of the the 3 C’s- clarity, conciseness and creativity. Most of what a PR person does involves written material. In order to be noticed by journalists and other media professionals, it is important to ensure competency through writing skills.

  27. michaela marano

    I couldn’t be more happier with my decision to attend this PR field trip. Bruce shared such good advice that can be applied to not only public relations, but any career. What I appreciated the most was his honesty. He went on to say that “you can teach someone skills like how to be a good writer but you can’t teach a person passion and compassion” which was the thing that resonated the most with me. No matter what endeavors you take on, you must remain a good person without losing yourself in whatever you are doing. He kept the field trip informal and personable yet extremely useful and professional.

  28. Brenna Harran

    I enjoyed the advice Bruce shared. The “three headed monster” example is a great one that I’ve never heard before. Being a good writer, maintaining client and public relationships, and being a person of guidance to your client are all essentials of PR. Without these, it is more than likely this field isn’t for you. I love every thing about PR – from the writing and brainstorming to actually seeing your plans and campaigns unfold. If you love the job you have it won’t feel like a job and you will be more successful in what you do.

  29. Sarah Lopez

    I love the last quote from this post, “Love what you do, have passion for it.” In the context of PR, it’s so important to be passionate about the work you are doing. Working in PR can become very stressful and require long hours at the office. If you are passionate about PR and your job, you won’t mind the long hours because at the end of the day, you are making a difference for your client. Being passionate and working really hard at what you do will allow you to grow within the industry and open the door to more opportunities.

  30. elizah9

    Who doesn’t want to learn about their dream career, while drinking some cold soda and eating some tasty pizza? That being said, I really wish I went to the Manhattan-based PR firm, DKC. From your writing it sounds like the trip went well and that Bruce Bobbins, executive vice president of the firm was a great person to meet. Moreover, I found Bruce Bobbin’s path to PR very interesting. I would have never guessed that a future ESPN reporter would have a three-decade long career in public relations. Who would have known that a job offer from a career that he did not attend to pursue would be the one he spent his entire life practicing. I guess the old saying is true, “you never know where life takes you.”

  31. mconno25

    Bruce Bobbins gave great advice for success. Not to leave out the three monsters, but lately at my internship I’ve been hearing a lot about being compassionate to everyone. For the phone calls I make I can’t tell you how many times a coworker explains to me the importance of being beyond nice while on the phone so every client is pleased with us.

    As for being passionate about something you love I believe it’s very important. I like my internship and I’m learning a lot but the clients I work for isn’t of my interest. If I would continue work at my internship as a full-time job I wouldn’t last longer than a month. I love traveling and want to continue to do it for the rest of my life so I think working in travel PR would be right up my alley.

  32. Areanna Rufrano

    Bruce Bobbins advice is simple, yet effective. He seems to really close in on the major skills and responsibilities of a good public relations professional. Even though those qualities that he mentioned are extremely important, the advice that really struck a chord with me is to be compassionate. Bruce talks about the moral character of working for a non-profit, but I think there is more to being compassionate. Regardless of what industry you are in, empathy goes a long way. And while skill and talent are sometimes the most impressive, it is your attitude and behavior that is the most impressionable.

  33. Tyler Cutler

    I really enjoyed this article, I felt like there were a lot of insightful and helpful points made my Bruce Bobbins. I wish I could have attended the event, but hopefully in future I will be able to attend the PRSSA events.

    I love what he said about needing to love your job – because as someone who is a double major in two things that may not make me a lot of money it’s a nice reminder that even if you are making six figures, if you’re miserable it’s not worth it. Of course it would be nice to have both, but I stand with him about passion over pay.

  34. Amy Schildwaster

    I wish that he had called PR professionals triple threats instead of three headed monsters. The idea of pr professionals being monsters conflicts with the idea of us being compassionate. I try to lead with my compassionate side because I don’t believe my writing skills are as strong as they could be. I was unable to attend this event but I am excited to see what events are planned for the future.

  35. bibianabogues

    Going to this event was an awesome experience. I really enjoyed listening to his advice and his explanation of the three-headed monster was very insightful. I couldn’t agree more with his statement about loving what you do and having a passion for it. Many times people base things off of money and I believe that is the complete opposite way you should do it if you want to truly be successful in your occupation. One point Bruce made during the presentation that stuck with me was when he explained that you work for most of your life since the retirement age is so high now, so why not do what you love. I’m extremely glad I went to this and I now have a better understanding of what PR firms are like.

  36. Laura L.

    The 3 C’s are so important to PR writing. When I first heard that most public relations work consists of writing, I was a little nervous. But now that I am learning how to write properly for this line of work, I thoroughly enjoy it.

  37. Jenna Delio

    It is so important that you be passionate about what you do as a career choice because if you hate being at work every day then you are heading down a pretty lousy road. We all want to be proud about our work and what we do for a living. That is why I am struggling with deciding on internship options because I really want the experience to be something I could see myself doing after graduating, long term. I know I want to work with children or a non-profit organization and knowing that gives me a direction that I want to go to be happy in the career I choose.

  38. Rebecca Costa

    I really enjoyed attending the conference on Friday. As someone who has never been to a PR firm in the city, it was very eye opening to see where the action takes place and hear from someone in the PR field. I left feeling very excited about what my future in PR could potentially be. My favorite advice that Bruce gave was: “Love what you do, have passion for it.” That advice is something that my parents have always told me; if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

  39. laurelroseo

    I like the three C’s and the three headed monster description even if it does sound a little negative. Describing it that way shows the different sides of PR and how you need to be equally strong in all of them.

  40. Ashley P.

    I think that Bruce Bobbins’ advice of “Love what you do, have passion for it” is so important in all aspects of life. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will not work as hard or give it your all. His own career is also an example that what you think you want to do may not be what you are actually passionate about. I think it’s really important to keep an open mind, especially in college and when applying for internships, because you never know what will spark your interest or what you will find a passion for!

  41. Vanessa Felder

    I really enjoyed the field trip to DKC. Listening to Bruce Bobbins speak was definitely an experience I will never forget. I loved it when he said we should “love what we do and have a passion for it.” Back in undergrad I changed my major at least three times, because I was trying to please everyone in my family. But after I was honest with myself and stopped letting others influence my decisions, I found my true calling and am extremely happy now. I think that it is important that everyone follow their true passion, so they don’t live a life of misery and regret.

  42. nikkigyftopoulos

    I really enjoyed hearing some of the advice that Bruce Bobbins had because I, unfortunately, could not make the PRSSA trip. I think it is very interesting how a lot of successful PR professionals never planned to land in the PR field. This shows that your career path is a blank slate and it is unknown what will fill it in. This is why it is so important to be open-minded to all sorts of careers and job positions. Do not let yourself be so focused on one path that you give up great opportunities that come up unexpectedly.

    I also really like his explanation of PR professionals as “three-headed monsters” because it clearly explained the three key essentials to being successful in PR. “Monsters” could have a negative connotation attached to it, but I see it as PR professionals being beasts that are challenged to do anything and everything. We are pushed to new levels because we are expected to have so many different skills and tools under our belts.

  43. Courtney Zanosky

    I think that calling PR people “three-headed monsters” is an interesting choice of words because it denotes an almost negative perspective of the field. However, I do completely agree with his breakdown of the three heads and it is definitely important to be able to do all of the three things. Compassion is also one of the most significant parts of this because the only way to gain and keep people’s loyalty is if they feel that you care about them and keeping clients and a good reputation is endlessly necessary in the field.

  44. maxeisenberg8

    I like his idea of emphasizing that you must be passionate about what you do. I have certainly changed my career path quite a bit when I switched from veterinary science to public relations but I still have my passion driving me to continue to help nonprofits for animals and environment no matter what major I am in. I realize the power that PR has to help our environment and help animals that don’t have a voice. We can become the spokespeople for whatever cause drives us and that is a pretty awesome thing.

  45. Lyndi Catania

    I like his description of the three-headed monster. All three of those components are very important and I hope I can do all three of them when I become a professional. The strategic counselor part stood out to me the most and I’ve never thought about the need for that quality. This sounds like it was a great and informative trip.


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