He used to be watched over by a motorcycle gang. Now he watches
over companies dealing with everything from technology to solid waste
Meet Sean Graham, senior PR executive at BtB Marketing
Describe the company you work for
BtB is a 28-person, full-service shop in Raleigh, NC. Our specialty is
b-to-b PR for electronics and technology companies, but we also have
clients involved in everything from fashion to solid waste
How did you get into PR?
I was in college in the late '80s, majoring in English with a minor in
journalism. At the time, an English degree was a fast track into the
food service industry. Journalism majors could get jobs in their field,
but at a starting salary of only $16,000 per year. I was making
that much working my way through school as a building maintenance
worker. The entry-level salary for PR majors was $25K. Economics
made it an easy decision.
What was your biggest screw-up?
I worked at the Ohio EPA for about three years as a public information
specialist. I was at a public hearing once where the agency was flamed
by an elected official. I made a very sarcastic remark about the
politician to a reporter. Not surprisingly, the quote ended in the local
paper. I got to explain that one to the governor's chief of staff.
What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
Raise a daughter by myself. She just turned 13, and it's really getting
If you could work on one account, what would it be?
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Athletic Department. I'd
have great seats in the Dean Dome and at Kenan Stadium, and tickets for
the ACC and NCAA basketball tournaments every year. I might even get to
meet Dean Smith and Michael Jordan.
Who would you most like to work with?
The Beatles. They rode the crest of a social sea change and influenced a
generation. They were the most talented, popular, and successful band of
Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn
Before college, I was in a band that was "adopted" by a motor-cycle
gang. We spent about a year being escorted to and from gigs by large
groups of very big, scary bikers. They made the club owners, not to
mention us, quite nervous, but nobody had the guts to tell them we
didn't want them around. So we broke up instead.
What skill would you most like to have?
To play guitar like Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), and bass like Flea
(Red Hot Chili Peppers).
Which historical figure would you most like to represent?
JFK, Sr. He ruled "Camelot" during the modern Golden Age of America. He
was his time's most compelling, charismatic leader. And I would have met
Marilyn Monroe and hung out with Frank Sinatra!