Belsky recently wrote an op-ed for Ad Age, in which laments the prevalence of negativity in and around the ad business, while making several points in the ad industry’s favor.
This industry has things to work on, but by letting this negative narrative define us, we’re admitting defeat, allowing some of our best and brightest to head for perceived greener pastures, and slowing the pipeline of incredible talent that sees marketing as a promising career option.
I don’t know about negative narratives defining an entire industry. There is a fine line between well-intended criticism and perceived negativity. In my opinion, the former is in short supply, while the latter is overflowing.
On the other hand, Belsky’s list of positives is spot on. He argues that advertising opens the door to incredible leadership
In any given month, you could be meeting with the best and brightest of Facebook, Google, Verizon, Amazon, Pinterest, Microsoft, Hearst, Conde Nast, iHeartRadio and more. You likely have countless other publishers, data providers and creative solutions lining up to educate and partner with you.
…No other job prepares you as well for rapid multitasking, for prioritization, for persuasive communication, for effective writing or for storytelling.
I agree with Belsky. On the job (provided it’s a good job), you will learn how to think on your feet, how to present ideas persuasively, and how to work with a multitude of talented and interesting people. All while remaining calm, charming, and on your best days, inspiring.
Advertising Is My Chosen Profession
As an English major and developing writer in my 20s, I looked around and figured that I might be able to work in publishing, TV and film, journalism, or advertising. I also thought one could lead to the next, and that’s exactly what happened.
The truth is it’s all media. The question is what kind of media are you making, and why? In any of the above English major-ready industries, you go to work every day to craft narratives and seek audience support. Pick your sandbox and go.
Belsky talks about preparation, and he’s right. Once you learn to find the truth in a story and how best to lift that truth up for all to see, you’re on the right path.
Personally, I believe that there are countless companies and causes that need expert advertising support, a.k.a. truth finding. This keeps me motivated and focused. In many cases, a client’s messaging is mission critical to the organization and to the larger community. When it is, it can be a rush (and an honor) to be in the right place at the right time with strategic communications expertise at the ready.