Are You Fit For a PR Job? The Seven-Point Checklist

Having a seat in the list of most stressful jobs, PR is not anybody and everybody’s cup of tea. Either you are meant for it (read fit for it) or you are not. There is no grey area to stand on. No middle path to follow. You wouldn’t find a custom-made profile that’s doable. In fact, ‘doable’ the word itself has no place in the dictionary of PR. Are you one of those fit for a PR job or not? Here’s a checklist!

Do you like and follow News?

That’s the prime factor, the litmus test. If news is not your hobby, you don’t qualify to be in PR. As a PR person, you are bound to follow current affairs in and out. And that’s irrespective of genres and industries. You are supposed to read, listen and watch news as much as possible. And the challenge is, you wouldn’t get time for it. How to manage? That’s a different ballgame altogether. You have to have a liking for news, that’s the primary factor.

Are you and Excellent Communicator?

Following, reading, watching and listening news is the first step. Step two is to have an ability to write it as good, maybe better than those who take credit for it and do it day and night. Your script writing skills, editorial efficiency and creative powers must be the best.

You are also supposed to be as eloquent as any spokesperson, prompt to respond and excellent in your choice of words and communication. Bottom line is that your communication skills should way above average.

Are you an Intelligent Strategist?

To be and remain in PR you have to be a thinker, a planner and a strategist. You get loads of data, research and analytics that have to be broken into reasons, logics, trends and inference. On the basis of the same you have to devise a strategy, draw a plan and may have to come up with a backup plan. And so on and so forth. Challenge is that you don’t get much time for it all.

Most of the time (read all the time) it’s too short a notice or post deadline and you have to talk as if you have been at it since ever and you know it all how to handle the issue and drive the campaign.

Are you Efficient in Time and Work Management?

The question basically is, can you multitask and run faster than the clock. In a PR job, you can expect to be sitting on deadlines and running behind almost every hour of the day. You have do different kind of tasks, travel all around, be an expert of so many subjects and issues, calling, talking, pitching, presenting, interacting with different kind of publics and satiating their needs and much more. If you can’t multitask, if you don’t find challenging scenarios exciting and juggling between roles is not one thing that charms you. You are probably not cut out for PR.

Are you Social?

If you like to have walls or curtains around you, have inhibitions in talking to unknown people on random subjects and can’t remain as confident as you know them for years and have an authority over the subject of discussion, you are not eligible for PR. It’s a job of relationship. Break ice with clients and their stakeholders and act the perfect matchmaker. That’s the foundation of PR.

Are you Thick Skinned?

That’s another mandatory requirement of being in PR. You have to outgrow and outlive rejections. Rejections are to be faced in so many ways and stages of PR. The ides and campaigns you plan, the pitches you make, the releases you write or the stories you suggest. They all may have immense potential and no wonder someone else will do the same sometime soon and gain huge mileage but your boss or client may reject it the moment you come up with it or even at a much later stage when you have sketched a detailed campaign around it. Be ready to face it and move over without affecting you any which way. If you can’t do that, PR is not for you.

Do you count work-hours and work-days?

If you are one of those candidates who, while being interviewed, raise the question – How many days are we working and what are the timings? Then mark my word, dare you consider PR as a job option. It’s a 24×7 job in true sense and there is definitely no respite from that. With the coming of laptops and mobile phones, as it is, there is no place to hide. If work-life balance is something that you think of, skip PR as a career option.

While the above checklist is a showcase of the bare minimum requirement to be in PR, there are many other traits required to be a good PR professional. But if you don’t find yourself fitting in any or some of the factors mentioned above. You are definitely not cut out for PR.

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Reputation Today is India’s only print magazine for Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals. It is the official magazine of PRAXIS - India’s largest offsite summit for Public Relations and Corporate Communications.

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