Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Talking Shop is Natural in PR

A senior account executive for a maverick firm that's making much waves in PR talked a little shop with me recently. He gave me different pointers on getting and keeping a job, client services and salary negotiation.

I asked about favorite spots where communicators go to unwind. He said that there weren't places like that because PR folks tend to keep a distance from one another due to the competitive nature of the business. "Everyone is after the same segment producer or reporter."

Well, I accepted that until I finally went to a PRSA monthly social mixer. The admission fee is "the cost of your drink." It was at the Arctica Bar & Grill. I arrived late but the place was still full of chatty people. Executives from Burrelles Luce were a few feet from Cision staffers. People from boutique to major PR firms schmoozed effortlessly. Piled on the pool table were copies of the latest Bulldog Reporter--the newsletter that tracks the career moves of magazine and newspaper editors . If people thought about hording media contacts, then the ol' Bulldog, Cision and Burrelles Luce countered that move.

This event was about networking. It was going past the search firm to know your colleagues and the house they work for. After all, in PR, people tend to be recycled, promoted, and set up shop within the industry. Read the bios and you'll see the trail of agencies someone worked at to get to where she is now--in PR or a complementary industry. Well lest we get left in the shadows, Planning To Succeed was promoted by yours truly.

I'm very glad I went to the mixer. The Arctica Bar & Grill serves great foreign ales on tap in 20 oz. glasses for six bucks. Of course the company was cool.

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