Let me begin by being very clear that there are much, much more difficult, lower paying, and thankless jobs than that of a PR professional. That said, it isn’t quite as glamorous, or generally as lucrative as you’d think based on the Samantha Jones character on Sex in the City. Instead of three martini lunches and high profile clients, the vast majority of PR pros work on tight budgets, with limited administrative support, and demanding clients or bosses. While is isn’t all sunshine and ponies, it is a rewarding field with an opportunity to really make an impact for brands. A career in PR might be right for you if ….
You Can React Quickly
Sometimes the best PR opportunities are fleeting. An important journalist will include your brand in a story if you can arrange an interview by noon. Breaking news impacts your industry, but you must send the pitch now before interest fades or your competitors beat you to it. The CEO finds a great opportunity for a speaking engagement, but the submission deadline is today. These aren’t the worst case scenarios, these are common situations that every PR pro faces regularly. Are you cool with that?
You Make Data-Driven Decisions
You might not have expected to see this on the list, but modern PR is all about analytics. The PR landscape, especially the digital one, is so vast and complex, that it simply isn’t possible to understand or navigate it without the help of PR software designed to identify the most relevant coverage, publications, and authors. Fortunately, the best solutions synthesize the data in a way that is easy to understand and communicate. But if you’re just not into facts, technology and analytical decision making, PR might not be right for you.
You Don’t Mind Cleaning Up Other People’s Messes
Crisis management is a major responsibility of PR professionals and most of the time (but, not all) the crisis is created by someone else. A product fails, the CEO says something remarkably outrageous, or a social media account is hacked, and you get to explain and apologize. If you can keep calm and carry on, you’re good. Otherwise, consider a career in banking.
You Have Perfect Pitch
A major component of securing earned media for your brand is crafting the right pitch for the right journalist. This requires a good understanding of what each author and publication covers and the interests of each audience. The “one pitch fits all” approach is ineffective and annoying, so you’ll need to keep yours in tune or don’t bother.
Have we talked you out of it? I didn’t think so. A career in PR can be enjoyable, exciting and enriching as long as you have the right talents and skills. We encourage new PR professionals to network with those who have more experience, seek out the many great online resources, and to leverage supporting technologies to make the job a little easier.