In my opinion, PR just isn’t for everyone. Succeeding in this industry undoubtedly takes a certain kind of person who can handle stress, shake off rejection and simultaneously be approachable and friendly, but also assertive and tough. These traits may not all necessarily be innate to you (I certainly didn’t walk into my first big-girl job feeling confident and ready to take on the world), but they are definitely crucial to pick up along the way if you want to make it in the PR world.
Here are some of the personality traits and skills that the most successful PR professionals in the biz always seem to have in common.
- Organized: This is especially important for those of us who work in an agency. You’ll never be successful at juggling the work of 8 different accounts if you’re not organized.
- Creative: Our clients pay us to come up with great ideas and our ability to turn those great ideas into a reality. Creativity is an important component to coming up with awesome PR ideas that haven’t been done in the past.
- Strong Communication Skills: Public relations means you have to constantly deal with people. Whether you’re communicating on behalf of yourself or a client, communication is the foundation of our work.
- “Roll with it” mentality: The quote “man plans, God laughs” could not be more applicable in the PR world. Every morning I start my day by optimistically creating my to do list, and inevitably at some point during the day something comes up that veers me off course. Being a PR pro means you gotta be able to just roll with it, especially in an industry as ever-evolving as ours.
- Well-rounded: My accounts range from restaurants and fitness gyms to service brands and sports leagues: it’s my job to be well-rounded and know about all of these industries. Specializing in one thing isn’t an option.
- Thick-skinned: If you can’t handle rejection, criticism or getting yelled at every now and then from a reporter whose on deadline, PR is most likely not for you.