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Career Choice: PR or Ph.D.?

Originally Posted

Bartender Bob at the BarStraight Stuff from the Other Side of the Bar

Move over Ann Landers and Miss Manners. Bartender Bob could care less about etiquette; he exists to pour drinks and dish answers to wayward PR folks who need a straight shot of truth.

Bartender Bob answers all career- and industry-related questions and does so with the bite of a drink laced with 151. His Italian, in-your-face responses may rub you the wrong way, but he means well.


Today's Question:


Bartender Bob: I worked for 5 years as an Advisor to a wealthy trust-funder, but his family's ties in pro sports turned my position into more PR and spin doctoring than anything else.  While my BA and MA degrees are in the arts, I received so much on-the-job PR training working for these folks that I think I should pursue this direction for my next job.  Do you think this is enough experience?  Before that, I'd been teaching and pursuing a Ph.D.

How much experience is enough?

Dear How much experience is enough?

This almost sounds like one of those college fraternity prank letters to the Playboy Advisor -- Ph.D. or pro sports PR? -- but I'll stiffen myself with a quick drink and treat it like you're serious.

Careful with that spin and doctoring, mate. You don’t want to cross the corporate line of truth like Nike did.

Sounds like you developed some PR skills and contacts working for the loaded trust-funder. Five years may be plenty, but sometimes it's just one year of experience five times over. What PR coups did you drum up during your five years of toil and "spin"?

It’s those big ideas, big connections, and big story placements that will open the door for you transitioning into agency or corporate PR work. And of course knowing the fundamentals and processes -- and having a conscience -- won’t hurt either (along with a little ass-kissing from time to time).

But the real answer is get sober and follow your heart. Better to do something you love than to try to love something just because you're doing it.

Bartender Bob

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