Arthur Solomon, Public Relations Consultant
My entire working life has consisted of newspapering or PRing. Both of these businesses are not known for dealing with the most forthright individuals. But I’ve been blessed. During my career, I’ve never been lied to, misled or harassed by people I reported to or worked with.
Here are some examples why I say my working experience has been as good as possible:
During my PR career:
- I’ve always been fortunate enough to work at an agency where management wouldn’t put up with and would resign a client who badgers account people for no reason.
- I’ve always been fortunate that I never had to work with a nasty client.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where management thought moral values of a client were more important than the size of the budget.
- I always been fortunate to work at an agency that refused client accounts that weren’t considered ethically correct.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where management would ask an employee if working on a controversial client would go against the employee’s beliefs.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where top management would admit being responsible for a client disaster that they created instead of looking for scapegoats.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where, when you tell something to H.R. that is negative about the agency it will not immediately be reported to top management.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where there was no office politics.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency that was free of back stabbing jealous employees.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where management wouldn’t look to replace employees with new communications school grads because they would work for less money.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where management would never mislead employees.
- I’ve always been fortunate not to have someone take credit for my work.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where supervisors had to know more about public relations than those they supervised.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work an agency where top management would not permit supervisors to bully or threaten lower-level account people.
- I’ve always been fortunate to work at an agency where top management truly cared about the welfare of its employees. (See addendum.)
A Few Fortunate Aspects Of My Days As A Journalist:
- I was fortunate that I never was forced to cover an event that I didn’t think newsworthy.
- I was fortunate that I never had a story spiked because an editor said, “It would upset an entity or individual.”
- I was fortunate that I never was told by an editor to rewrite a story.
- I was fortunate that I never was told by an editor that I was burying the lead.
- I was fortunate that I never was told by a “kindly old editor” about how easy we new timers have it.
- I was fortunate that whenever I interviewed a person I was always told the truth.
- I was fortunate that every story I wrote was submitted for a Pulitzer Prize, and won it three times.
I had two career highlights, (excluding my Pulitzer Prizes), one as a journalist, and the other as a PR practitioner.
As a newsperson, I was assigned to do a week in the life of Donald Trump feature and followed him around during his business and personal life. I can truthfully say that I was treated most kindly. Before writing the story I fact checked everything he told me and found no exaggerations or mistruths. He requested that any flattering remarks about him from friends, his employees or business associates not be included in the story. “Just tell it like it is, warts and all,” he told me. He is the most unassuming person I ever met.(As Nikki Haley said in her book, I always experienced Trump to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And I’m certain that Ms. Haley would have said the same thing even though she wasn’t seeking a place on a future GOP presidential ticket.)
Because of the above assignment, Mr. Trump hired me to be the lead PR person at his company. During the eight years I was there, (I finally left when he decided to enter the political arena), I was treated with more loyalty, respect and kindness than at any other time during my PR career. Every morning, he would come into my office and say, “Thanks for your hard work. Let me know if you need anything.” I also was struck by how often he told his staff, “Flattering me will get you nowhere.”
And if you believe the above, you’ve been April Fooled.
Addendum: Actually, I once worked at an agency whose owner truly cared about the welfare of employees. It was at a boutique political agency (my first job in PR). During election campaigns we often had to work close to midnight, sometimes later. On the days we did, the owner of the agency would always treat us to supper at a good restaurant and arrange for transportation from the office to our homes, regardless of where we lived. And the mornings following late nights, when we arrived for work, there were always platters of bagels, spreads and urns of coffee.
Just like where you work. Right?
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About the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) juno.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.