Last week, Ragan.com posted an interesting article by Mickie Kennedy titled “8 signs you shouldn’t work in PR”. It’s a good article and very worth a read. Nearly half of the reasons they list are spot on, and almost read like a Jeff Foxworthy routine:
If you don’t like writing, you shouldn’t be in PR.
If you’re not a people person, you shouldn’t be in PR
If you can’t multitask, you shouldn’t be in PR.
Those are the ones I agree with. The other five, however, may be that way, but that doesn’t mean is has to be. make me want to say, Let’s break those down:
If you don’t have patience, you shouldn’t be in PR
Not only is being impatient crucial to PR, it’s a vital asset. Impatience is what drives our business. Hell, it’s what drives any business! In fact, I’ve found that the three qualities that have gotten me farther than anything in this businesses has been that tasty personality cocktail blend of impatience, persistence and stubbornness.
If you don’t want to work nights or weekends, you shouldn’t be in PR
No one wants to work nights or weekends, but there’s an unspoken reality in the cat and mouse client/agency relationship: Both sides can manage each other. There are businesses that have communications crises 24/7, but more often than not what seems like a crisis at 11pm on a Saturday night may very well benefit from a bit of perspective and “sleeping on it”. A good PR professional can talk a client off the ledge and provide more insight in a five minute phone call than any one hour group Skype could.
If you don’t handle rejection well, you shouldn’t be in PR
Rejection is a constant part of public relations – PR agencies lose business pitches; reporters reject story ideas and one person’s great paragraph might not make sense to the client. If I’m a client, I don’t want a PR professional who handles rejection well. I want that person to get pissed off at rejection, react to it, internalize and improve from it.
If you aren’t organized, you shouldn’t be in PR
I take great umbrage with this statement. The old adage, “it takes all kinds” applies here. Just because my desk is messy and I have the handwriting of a serial killer that doesn’t mean the attic that I call my brain and my laptop isn’t organized within an inch of my life. One person’s organization is another one’s chaos.
If you don’t thrive under pressure, you shouldn’t be in PR
Again, “it takes all kinds”. A good PR team has a good mix of deadline junkies and those who cringe and the slightest sign of pressure. I’m a self-confessed deadline junkie, but when I put a team together for a client, I make sure we have people who thrive on pressure and those who can focus on the task at hand regardless of the pressure, or lack thereof.
If you’re in PR, what do you think? Does it take the patience of a saint and the disposition of a pitbull to succeed in our field?
If you’re on the client side of the fence, what do you look for in your PR team?