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What if Don Draper was a PR pro?


The latest TV drama my wife and I are engrossed in? Mad Men. I know, I know, where have you been, Arik? We’re a little slow to the pop culture scene, at times.

But, we’re hooked now (currently just starting season 5).

Don Draper

Mad Men is a great show. I love the period references, clothing and language. But, what I enjoy most is the insider-baseball advertising/agency references.

The new business conundrums. The inner-office politics. The ineptitude of the partners (at times). The dynamics of an agency meeting. Love it all.

But, most of all: Don Draper. One of the most iconic TV characters of the last 10-plus years. Much has been written about Don Draper (heck, “Dear Abby”-like Tumblr blogs are devoted to him), but one thing continues to linger in my mind as I watch the show: What if Don Draper were transported 50-some years in the future and worked in the PR industry instead?

Well, I actually gave that some thought (yes, I do think about these things). Here’s a list of 15 ways Don Draper would be different if he were working in PR in 2013:


Ad man Don Draper drink of choice: Canadian Club, straight up.

PR man Don Draper drink of choice: Coffee (that’s an easy one).


Ad man Don Draper communication technology: Black office rotary desk phone

PR man Don Draper communication technology: Apple iPhone 5 (with Don’s sense of style, there’s no doubt he’d be an Apple guy–question is, would he use this case?)


Ad man Don Draper tagline: “I want 10 taglines for that ad by 5 p.m.”

PR man Don Draper tagline: “I want 10 ideas for that status update on the client’s Facebook page by 5 p.m.”


Ad man Don Draper afternoon pick-me-up: Afternoon siestas on what appears to be the most uncomfortable couch ever in his office.

PR man Don Draper afternoon pick-me-up: Starbucks iced coffee.


Ad man Don Draper exercise of choice: Swimming in the New York Athletic Club pool.

PR man Don Draper exercise of choice: Yoga.


Ad man Don Draper vehicle of choice: Ford Thunderbird

PR man Don Draper vehicle of choice: BMW 5 series


Ad man Don Draper agency location: New York City (the epicenter of the ad world)

PR man Don Draper agency location: San Francisco (close to Silicon Valley, and many tech and Fortune 500 companies and a wealth of creative talent)


Ad man Don Draper agency partners: An over-the-hill veteran, a raging alcoholic, and a over-organized Brit.

PR man Don Draper agency partners: Nobody. Don is definitely the kind of guy who runs his own firm–his way (and to be honest, I find it hard to believe he would put up with the partners he has for more than 10 minutes).


Ad man Don Draper holiday party: Held in the office, oodles of alcohol, key clients invited with the party going late into the night.

PR man Don Draper holiday party: What holiday party?


Ad man Don Draper management style: Strict, top-down and domineering style

PR man Don Draper management style: Open, empowering and collaborative (OK, this might be a little wishful, but still…)


Ad man Don Draper agency marketing tactic: Writing an op-ed letter to the New York Times declaring his agency is forever done with tobacco companies as clients.

PR man Don Draper agency marketing tactic: Creating a ‘viral video’ (Don’s fatal flaw–thinking he knows it all; it shows up big time here)


Ad man Don Draper office crisis: One of Don’s many girlfriends showing up in the office at the same time as his wife.

PR man Don Draper office crisis: Photos of Don’s “escapades” with one of his many girlfriends surfacing on Facebook.


Ad man Don Draper book to read: Olgilvy on Advertising, by David Olgilvy.

PR man Don Draper book to read: Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg (just kidding)


Ad man Don Draper client approach: Sell, sell, sell.

PR man Don Draper client approach. Listen, listen, listen.


Ad man Don Draper fashion statement: Skinny tie and the Fedora hat (tie)

PR man Don Draper fashion statement: Allen Edmunds shoes, Brooks Brothers suit (as much as I want Don to be a jeans and jacket guy, he’s just not…)


OK, what did I miss? Add your ideas in the comments below.



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