Many work days I feel just like Crash Davis from the brilliant baseball film BULL DURHAM.
For those who haven’t seen the 1988 film, Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner, is a veteran minor league baseball catcher who is sent down to the single-A Durham Bulls to educate and train hotshot rookie pitcher Ebby Calvin LaLoosh, played by Tim Robbins. Crash’s main purpose is to help Ebby become a major-league talent through controlling Ebby’s wild and erratic pitching. The big league club no longer has plans for Crash’s future beyond his training young talent, which becomes apparent to him by the end of the film.
I feel more often than not that I am here at our agency to train young people to take over my department. Our boss constantly says how indispensable I am to our agency, but it is beginning to sound hollow. And this is not only because my low salary doesn’t come anywhere near being commensurate with the experience and talent I bring to the position.
Honestly, it feels like no matter how many media placements I secure or successful PR campaigns that I run that it is only an afterthought to others, particularly the Millennials who work for me, and in our agency.
They don’t care what I do and my advice seems to be falling on deaf ears. I know they think I am old and stuck in the past, but I think experience and strategy matters a lot more than clever, slick, clueless talent.
They just don’t seem to realize how hard it is to achieve these kinds of results
It is depressing at times I must admit.
Louis aka MBA boy is like so many other Millennials that have worked for me. He has become increasingly hostile and believes he knows better than I do about how to achieve PR results and keep clients happy, but this is only his first real PR agency job.
He’s like too many arrogant Millennials I’ve met fresh out of school that feel they can learn everything they need to know in a book. He even once cluelessly suggested we “rat fuck” a troubling and hostile client by anonymously posting negative comments to our client’s website and social media. I didn’t know what to say except that we are in the PR business to support and help our clients, not destroy them.
The thing is when he joined our agency, MBA Boy couldn’t write a decent press release. His first drafts would be full of opinion, grammar errors, and he had no knowledge of AP style or how to structure a release like a news article. His pitch letters were even worse. His writing has improved over time, but he still makes the same grammar and content errors. It can be frustrating.
In fact, the skill set of young people who have worked for me in past few years has been shockingly bad. For the most part, they can’t write, let alone write a press release or compelling pitch. I wonder just what are they teaching their students in the public relations departments at these so-called universities of higher learning.
At the end of BULL DURHAM, Crash hits his last homer for the minor league home run record, (which goes unnoticed by everyone including the media), and hangs it up his cleats and ponders becoming a manager.
Maybe that is my fate for now on as a manager teaching ungrateful and snobby Millennials who ignore my wisdom from years in the PR trenches.
Seems like hardly an inviting and rewarding future.