And, while I’ve experienced firsthand examples of account executives with a seriously inflated sense of self-worth, I’m also pleased to report I’ve just met scores of young industry professionals who are the polar opposite.
The occasion was the PRSSA’s annual conference in Philadelphia. I was invited to address a large group on the subject of writing. I told them the overall quality of writing has fallen faster than the New York Jets post-season chances. I told them to forget about attending other workshops on subjects like media relations, strategy and account management if they didn’t first master writing. I also told them text messaging shorthand was undermining their credibility with bosses, clients and the media.
I’m happy to say the audience was overwhelmingly receptive. They not only peppered me with smart and insightful questions, they also lined up afterwards for one-on-one advice. Each and every student was smartly dressed in business attire. Each handed me a business card, resume and, in some cases, feature articles they’d authored.
There was absolutely no sense of entitlement. There was
no indication the world owed these young executives a living. Nor were
there any negative nonverbal physical signals being sent.
the PRSSA attendees that young PR executives who jump from agency to
agency in the belief they’ve been mistreated or not shown enough
recognition will be in for a rude awakening. Even though there’s a
talent shortage at the moment, my fellow employers will remember the
‘high maintenance’ individuals who moaned and groaned a bit too loudly.
summed up my Philly visit by telling the ‘kids’ about the sense of
entitlement many of their slightly older peers possess. I advised them
that the bridge they burn might just be their own.