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Are older people better at PR? Asks Hacked Off Flack

28th January 2013

I am years off middle age, as apparently it now officially starts at 55. However, the “youngsters” in this office treat me as if I am a doddery fool. This is ridiculous, apart from when I’ve been hitting the tequila. Note that I said tequila – I have no interest in sipping sherry, although I am partial to an occasional glass of Madeira.

Why does PR have such an obsession with youth? When I go to industry events, those aged over 40 are in the minority. Despite, in my opinion, the fact that senior PROs do the best work. When I visit recruitment consultants (shh, don’t tell the boss, don’t want her getting excited), it is blatantly obvious that my age is not a selling point

I am fed up with young people thinking they are better! Here are some reasons why young people aren’t necessarily better at PR:

1. They can’t spell. Or construct decent sentences. It takes years to learn how to write well. Especially as an education these days does not guarantee a proper degree of literacy. And please don’t bother telling me that my writing isn‘t up to much, I promise you, I was worse when I was younger!

2. They believe that they are the only ones who understand social media. Social media isn’t difficult – age is not a barrier. The reason I haven’t been on Vine yet is because I think it's shit, not because I don’t get it.

3. They always put their mobile phones first. And can’t seem to have a conversation without checking on their portable screen every minute or so.

4. They are too obsessed by their social lives. I’m delighted that you get to go out all the time – and yes a few token insights in to your weekend are nice to hear. But I don’t need chapter and verse.

5. They look good, even after a heavy night. But in these austere times, PR people rarely get to leave their desk anyway. So you might as well employ old haggard types like me – the client will never know!

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