Do you ever wonder what it takes to survive in the world of public relations? It’s a question I get asked sometimes by students considering the field. It’s also a question I still ask my mentors. Until we become seasoned professionals, we only know as much as we’ve experienced.
However, if you’re truly passionate about the field, that’s one sign, you’re headed in the right
direction. So, what else?
- Patience. The PR field is faced with a lot of rejection. When it comes to pitching a story idea, or trying to get your client featured, you’re not always going to succeed. It is
incredibly important to remain patient and determined.
- Quick thinking. Also known as, crisis management 101. When you get a call at 3 a.m. you’re going to have to be quick on your feet. A portion of the PR role is handling a crisis if one arises. The more time you take to figure out a solution, the more damage your client will face.
- Sociable. The field strives on networking, and understanding what it takes to be a good communicator. It is important to possess good social skills. PR professionals interact with the public on a daily basis. This will include public speaking and presenting in front of your clients.
- Dedicated. If you’re looking for a 9-5 office job, PR might not be your calling. The job
entails a strong dedication to the field and your career. It also requires different hours on different days. Ignoring a call or an email after hours could lead to a missed opportunity – including a crisis. It’s a job that works around the clock, and you have to be willing to put in the time.
- Tech savvy. This is extremely important for the industry. New technology equates to new opportunities for you and your clients. You must be willing to try out the
latest technology, gadgets, and software to see what works. Whether it’s for analytics or media alerts, the latest technology will usually accommodate the gaps in the old.
- Strategic. I chose strategic as a quality because it touches on a few areas that are
important. First, you have to be willing to understand your client’s audience and their needs. You have to know when to look at the bigger picture, or when to consult outside
resources. As well, the field requires you to make recommendations after you’ve
thoughtfully analyzed whom you’re trying to reach. A campaign will fail if you don’t use strategic thinking to get there.
What else do you think it takes to be in PR?