Three Traits of Successful PR Professionals
March 30, 2015
March 30, 2015
As spring break winds down, college seniors are looking forward to the future — careers, new cities, roommates and travel all await them when the graduation smoke clears.
When recent graduates ask me what it takes to make it in public relations, I usually turn it around to them. Why do you want to work in PR? If they say, “I like to work with people,” I usually steer them in another direction, for public relations isn't usually about working with people. But if they say, “I like learning new things” or “I am a news junkie” or even “I love to write,” then I'll continue the conversation.
I've worked in financial, consumer, hospitality, real estate, events and non-profits. I’ve learned that certain traits translate to success across all of these sectors:
Curiosity: Do you just have to know what is going on?
Resilience: Can you bounce back when someone says no?
Perseverance: Can you look at all the angles and keep pitching until you find the right story for the right reporter?
PR is hard work. Clients are demanding and offer little praise while agencies are constantly having to prove themselves to win new accounts.
All of these qualities are key to being successful in PR. But the truth is, I've always found my gut tells me when someone has “it” — that special quality where a person can read a room, connect with people and think on his or her feet all while being likable.
If you have these attributes and are thinking about a career in public relations, go for it. P.R. is a great profession that allows for a long career with incredible flexibility and fun. Every day offers the opportunity to do something great or fail spectacularly. If you get a thrill out of the wins — a new client, a big story placement or a terrific idea — and the losses don't get you down, then you just may have what it takes to flourish in this industry.