Aisling McCarthy looks at the signs that a career in public relations might be just the right fit for you.
Although it isn’t as glamorous as it’s often thought to be, PR is a highly rewarding industry to be in. Wondering if you’re ready for that career move?A job in public relations will be a good fit for you if:
1. You’re always looking at your phone
Although they’re not playing Candy Crush, most PR professionals have their phones at hand, ready to answer incoming emails and calls – and quickly respond to social media followers.
A job in PR is not your average nine-to-five job, particularly if you work on digital campaigns. Social media never sleeps – so you have be ready to act whenever that notification comes through.
If you’re okay with being interrupted during your favourite show, and having six different conversations on WhatsApp at the same time, you’ll excel in PR.
2. You work better with deadlines
Working in public relations means working with clients and feeling the pressure of their expectations. Deadlines are always looming and ever-tightening – and only those who can keep pace will come out on top.
If you don’t crumble under pressure, but instead are motivated to problem-solve and produce ideas under the wire, PR will be a great career for you.
3. You’re great at building relationships
No, not everyone who works in PR is an extrovert. They are, however, skilled communicators who can maintain relationships with customers, clients, partners, vendors and other parties that organisations require.
Working in PR also means collaborating with marketers, advertisers, salespeople and human resources departments. If you listen well, understand what people need and excel at bringing people together, PR is the right field for you.
4. You’re detail-oriented
You set measurable campaign goals and objectives. At events and press conferences, you ensure that the media members’ press packs have all the necessary information, and you know that the audio-visual equipment is working as it should be. PR professionals understand that the ‘big picture’ is made up of hundreds of tiny details.
If you want a chance to be creative in your job – and are always triple-checking your work – PR will suit you just fine.
5. You write well
Working in PR doesn’t mean that you have to be the next Stephen King, but if you can deftly turn a phrase, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself with more career and client opportunities.
A good place to start is to cultivate effective writing habits and have a solid handle on an editing style. Trust us, the journalists you reach out to – and your clients – will thank you for it. The only way to improve your writing is to start writing – and keep doing it.
If you’re unsure as to why the media rewrote your content – ask them. Then implement those changes in any future content you want to send them. Remember that there’s always room for improvement in everyone’s writing.
But if you can write fairly well and generate relevant, desirable content, you’ll find yourself in high demand in the PR industry.
6. You can handle rejection
“NO”. Get used to hearing it. Or more likely, get used to hearing nothing at all – particularly from reporters who you send pitches to.
This is especially true when your pitches are filled with irrelevant subject matter or non-news.
Rejection is just part of the job, however, keep in mind that it extends beyond just pitches. Clients can turn down your campaign ideas from the start, or even veto your ideas when their shiny new campaigns aren’t getting the results they expected. Try to stay determined – your hard work will eventually pay off.
If you take “no” as a challenge to be persistent and to do better, PR is right up your alley.
Ready to get your PR career started? We’ve got you covered. Check out our article, How to get an interview at a PR agency.