There’s a lot of talk of “rugged individualism” these days–of making it on your own or being a “maverick” (or branding yourself as one. See: Palin, Sarah).
I’ve noticed this tendency in myself–I’m not much of a joiner. That isn’t to say I haven’t been that proverbial “good team player;” just that I trust my instincts and find solitary pursuits (writing, running a business, hiking, watching Zombi 2 every October) fulfilling and stimulating.
However, there comes a time when going it alone–or improvising– are not only not the best options–but not options at all.
The legendary first man on the Moon himself, Neil Armstrong spoke about the need for teamwork on his historic mission in a letter to NPR’s Robert Krulwich:
I talked about Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s walk across the lunar surface back in 1969 and wondered, how come they walked such a modest distance? Less than a hundred yards from their lander?
Today Neil Armstrong wrote in to say, here are the reasons:
- It was really, really hot on the moon, 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We needed protection.
- We were wearing new-fangled, water-cooled uniforms and didn’t know how long the coolant would last.
- We didn’t know how far we could go in our space suits.
- NASA wanted us to conduct our experiments in front of a fixed camera.
But basically, he says, we were part of a team and we were team players on a perilous, one-of-a-kind journey. Improvisation was not really an option. (emphasis mine)
Sure, you’re probably not landing on another planet as part of your business, but you are doing things everyday that effect the profitability of your company.
Part of my hesitance to be a team guy probably stems from my early career as a journalist. Reporters aren’t team players–at least they weren’t in the newsrooms I haunted. When I moved from journalism to PR, my early jobs were at companies where I was basically a one-man shop. That changed as my career progressed, but old habits die hard. Even when I had staff and team members to work with I had a tough time letting go of some things. That may also have had something to do with my ego, too.
Though I now run a truly one-man shop, I’ve learned to call upon strategic partners who can do some things better than me. I want my clients to not only get the results of the best job I can do, but I want them to get the best results possible. Period.
Ask yourself: does your learned behavior, ego or even insecurity prevent you from being a team player when it counts? Make sure when you make that one small step for (a) man…well, you get the idea.
According to U.S News, Public Relations as a profession might just be a growth industry:
Employment of public-relations specialists is expected to increase by more than 66,000 jobs, or 24 percent, between 2008 and 2018, according to the Labor Department.
Almost condescendingly, they report that it’s not too tough to get into, education-wise:
There’s a lot of upside to this job, given that it requires only a bachelor’s degree.
And you can also earn a decent living:
Median annual earnings for PR specialists last year were about $51,960, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made less than $30,520 and the highest-paid 10 percent made upwards of $96,000.
Check out the rest of the article for their take on stress level, type of activity and the effect of social media on the profession.
Of course, if you want my opinion about PR as a profession…just ask. All you PR vets out there, feel free to weigh in on the profession, too. And finally–all you newbies and students thinking of PR as a career–what do you think–or what do you want to know?
The comments section is open!
“You Linger Your Little Hour and Are Gone” On Sale Now
Fresh off the success of his last album singer/songwriter Dan Coyle enjoyed touring and making hundreds of new fans, but the loss of two beloved family members virtually shut him down. Two years later as he releases his new CD, ‘You Linger Your Little Hour and Are Gone,’ Coyle reflects on that period and what led him back to recording and touring.
“Well the writing spanned about a year and a half – a period that encompassed a lot of different facets of my life.” Coyle said. “The earliest songs were written right after the success of (my last album) ‘Random Thoughts and Incomplete Sentences’, which led to some very happy-go-lucky tunes. Then my Grandma–who I was very close to–and my Dad passed away within two months of each other. That led to some songs of loss and searching for a way out.”
The economy understandably makes you interested in talking with any and all potential clients. Just watch out for ghosts.
“Ghosts ” go beyond kicking the tires, feeling you out on strategy and discussing fees. They’re the potential clients who could also be called “time vampires,” as they want to meet often and then have you draw up a full-blown proposal and/or contract. Then they disappear. You literally get no response.
Read the entire piece over at PR at Sunrise.
1. Lying (to you and/or themselves).
2. Actually selling you an ad.
Look for another firm that tells you the truth: they will put their skills, contacts and creativity to work to give you a great shot at publicity–but they cannot guarantee anything.
Click on the link below, PR fiends!