Four Rules for Working in the PR Industry

August 25, 2009

Care of the inimitable Jeremy Pepper (one of my favourite people in the PR/Social Media echo chamber/circle jerk) comes four rules to live by when working in the PR industry. In an industry which is more art than science, these are just as good a list to go by as any other.

The context is that Jeremy was taught these when he was starting out by his mentor. I’ve ripped these straight from his own blog post – Passing the Buck and Ethics – which makes for far better reading than this:

1. Blame up, praise down: what he meant is that he gets paid the big bucks (and I was a lowly AAE), and the buck stops with him. He would take the blame, and he would let the client know that we got the hits.

2. If I work late, you work late: No, not the scene from Scrooged but he just meant that if he left the office before me, he’d check in to see what I was working on and what could be taken off his plate. And vice versa – I would check in on him. Mainly, it came down to helping with time management, and being cognizant of what coworkers were working on that day.

3. Take responsibility and own up: While blame up was the end result – meaning he’d take the yelling from the client for a mess up – he wanted you to take responsibility with him if you made the mistake. Own up, and man up.

4. The client comes first: the client is paying your paycheck, so you look out for them. You go over the billing and invoices, and do the line item and make sure they are being fairly billed.

I’m fairly sure I’ve fallen foul of some of these in the past but all of the best mentors I’ve had have followed them to the letter. I hope that having these written down will help me become a better manager and a better counselor.


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