Over the 10 years that I’ve been a public relations executive, many people from all walks of life have asked me about jobs. My doctor asked, “can you get my wife a job in PR?—she’s really good with people.”— Others have said, “I’d really like to know more about what you do—it seems like so much fun.”
Let me set the record straight. Public relations is a serious business which requires a lot more than people skills.
First and foremost, a public relations practitioner must know the fundamentals of writing. If grammar has ever been a challenge—it may be a good idea to reconsider your career path. Our word programs can certainly check our spelling, but keeping tenses intact and structuring a sentence correctly are skill sets that we all should have mastered in secondary School if not earlier.
If a person writes concisely, they generally think and speak clearly which are other imperative requirements for a publicist or communications specialist.
If you have passed the fundamental requirements, ask yourself these questions?
- Are you willing to work long hours including nights and weekends?
- Are you well organized?
- Do you work well with constant deadlines?
- Are you a proactive, self-starter?
- Can you multi-task?
- Can you work with difficult personalities, and not take it personally?
- Can you take the person on the other end of the phone hanging up on you?
If you have answered “yes” to each of the questions listed above, you may indeed be ready for a career in public relations. The rest of it will come naturally with practice and experience.