I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other for a while so were discussing how our respective jobs were going. During the conversation, he came out with the statement “I don’t understand why people in PR have jobs. PR is just a set of basic skills that anyone should really have”. This statement took me back and rather than fight in my corner to the death, it got me thinking. I stopped and thought about all the different roles and responsibilities I, as someone in PR, has in my job.
Simply put, I’d argue that PR isn’t just a set of basic skills that everyone has which they can utilize as a career. I believe it takes a certain sort of person to work and succeed in PR both from a personality and work ethic point of view. In the same way that it is in so many different career paths, not everyone is cut out for PR. During a typical day, I wear many hats. I’m the consultant, the creative and the analyst to name just three. Having worked in both sides of PR – that is traditional and digital if we are going to give them labels – I’ve experienced a fair bit of what this chosen career path has to offer.
I’m currently working within the London digital team amongst some of the brightest minds in digital the city has to offer. As part of that team, as a given, I have to be aware of:
- The different social platforms which are available, keeping ahead of the game and how each one works, develops and integrates within a strategy
- Be a channel between my team and my client making sure actions, processes and procedures are followed and subsequent deadlines met
- Understand how the European regions I help manage all work together and grasp how each region uses and interacts with social media
- Know who stakeholders are with my client’s business and how I can help them reach their goals and objectives
- Bring in the real science bit and be able to measure and analyze all the tweets, Facebook posts and video views we receive turning them into constructive analysis that my clients can feed back to their superiors
- Be personal and approachable and have a work ethic that revolves around high quality work on tight deadlines
- Most importantly, I think, is to be an effective communicator. To able to convey information to different people in different ways
I’m employed because I strive to and can do all of the above. I work in an environment which at times can be a real pressure cooker and a fairly frustrating way to spend the majority of my week. However, I wouldn’t change that as this is the sort of environment my work ethic thrives on.
Whilst communication is an innate trait to us all, being able to understand how different audiences take on information and subsequently be able to communicate that to an audience effectively is the real factor here. This fundamentally is the deciding reason for why I have chosen to etch out a successful career in PR.
Image credit: aplumb