It is a game of give and take, this is for sure. Even with the big picture painted, a career is not something that you just rush into. Do it with passion or not at all – somebody said and I couldn’t agree more. Knowing yourself leads you to know if you can handle the challenges that come with a PR career. The good and the bad, the achievements and the mistakes, all should teach you something.
1. Boring times? Never!
If you dislike routine, you’re in the right field. The work is so diverse that one day does not feel like another.
One week you can be dealing with a service provider who needs a Social Media strategy and the next one you’re planning a product launch event. Online and offline, writing articles and giving speeches, working from a desk or interacting with people all day long, there’s never a dull day in PR.
Think about all the opportunities, PR applies to any of them. You can work with clients from the public or private sector, or even non-profit organizations. Size? Giant corporations, small companies or start-ups. Fields? Automotive, travel, fashion, lifestyle, tech, you name it. Nope, no time to get bored.
2. Be a maker, you’re the storyteller
It’s up to you to use your imagination and make something out of nothing. Remember that people respond much better to emotions than anything else. You’ve got the tool to touch them – words. Using them appropriately can bring great outcome.
Now, even hotter is the topic of visual storytelling. Words and image or video – you can put together two things that have been put together before, but create something totally unique. How is that for a feeling?
3. The Creativity factor
Yes, Creativity with a capital letter, because it is that essential. A high level of creativity is one of the most significant skills a PR pro can posses. Whether as an in-house specialist or within an agency, writing, thinking and implementing are a big part of a PR position of any level.
Luckily, this is a skill that can be exercised by being a sponge, constantly curious about news in the field. Also, practicing a pro-active attitude when it comes to learning new things and research of any other info is a plus.
4. Not a one-fits-all
The PR sphere is about so many responsibilities based on a multitude of skills. From writing to pitching, giving presentations to planning and even researching, you can find your place. Working in a consultancy firm within a team makes you a specialist in your field, so don’t worry if you start out on one role, but then decide another one fits you better.
That’s the great news – you can find a position that fits you, whatever your skills or interests are.
5. You make a difference and should be really proud of it
It is not about you, yourself and you again. You work with people, for other people. PR touches and has an impact. You are a part of the story all the way from when a hint of an idea is born, through pitching and into the closing. Just imagine a client calling you and saying they closed a deal thanks to the coverage a certain news had.
PR is power and it is in your control.
1. You value your free time too much
PR is not the field for a set schedule and to-do list. The job will never be 9-to-5 and the tasks will always, and yes I mean always be different. If you like predictable days, PR really isn’t the thing for you. Communication crises do not ask for permission on when to happen and that is the moment when you need to act right away. Also, if you have clients all over the world, you will need to set your meeting suitable for them. It can be very stressful for someone who is not flexible and doesn’t like to compromise, but it can also be very rewarding when passion is part of the story.
2. Read, watch, learn. Repeat.
Part of PR is doing the research on your clients’ field and/or competitors. Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and campaigns is also part of a pro’s duty, so constant work reading magazines and watching relevant videos is implied, yes.
3. You like to do things just to cross them off your list
Attention to details is very important and it goes all the way from articles being grammatically correct to hints of credibility when presenting of pitching. There is no room for sloppy mistakes, your work must be read and re-read, analyzed from all the angles that you can think of.
In PR. you need to cover all possible questions or assumptions in order to get a flawless result.
4. It’s not you, it’s your topic
Rejection is part of the process and pointing out mistakes will become daily routine. The only productive thing to do in those situations is to learn from your mistakes and become better. Figure out what you can improve and allow yourself to develop.
First of all, you will need to accept that you make mistakes. We all make them, it’s human. When something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean you’re not trying hard enough, just that you need to still improve and learn new things, maybe develop new skills. One of the don’ts when that moment comes is to make excuses or avoid responsibility.
5. Numbers? Ugh!
During a conference I once was invited to, some of the guests said – ‘PR specialists chose this field because they hate numbers’. I will remember it all my life, cause I admitted I related to that. But unfortunately, in real life and real PR, it doesn’t work like that. PR improves measurement and proves ROI, and that is exactly why measurement is a huge part of PR.
It has been a weak point for many time now, but things have changed. And this is especially needed in paid programs. An effort is needed for learning the basics, yes.
Hopefully, this has been a little more eye-revealing on what the PR career is built. As I said in the beginning, it is a game, but at the end of the day, the benefits outweigh the cons. A bit of effort and a lot of passion will make it worth it all.