Quiet Minds, Big Impact in PR

This happens to me too often: I’m out with a big friend’s group, everyone pitching in, sharing stories and, experiences, conversations getting more animated, louder and livelier. And as these voices get louder, I find a quieter corner, observing more than participating, and yet enjoying every bit of it in my own way! My husband has often teased, ‘Aren’t you a communications professional? Shouldn’t you be out there, engaging with everyone, leading conversations?’. But should our inert personalities define our professions?. Can I be in PR and yet be an introvert? 

Public Relations, by its very nature, is a profession that seems to expect personalities that are out there – engaging with a variety of stakeholders, being the vocal face of campaigns, socialising and building network. If you love to talk and thrive in the spotlight, you’re cut out for a career in communication, isn’t it? But what if you’re different? What if you’re not the ‘life of the party’ but rather someone who prefers to observe, learn, and wait for the appropriate time to engage? Being in the profession for so many years and having dominant traits of an introvert, I can confidently say, introverts bring invaluable qualities that contribute immensely to the profession and to their careers. Their reserved and reflective nature pairs extremely well with the dynamism of extroverts, creating an unbeatable synergy in PR. 

Here’s how introverts complement extroverts in delivering the three Ps of effective communication strategies-

Purpose: One of the most significant assets of introverts is their ability to listen deeply and hence they excel in the ‘Purpose’ aspect of communication, where understanding nuances is key. Their deep listening skills allow them to grasp the subtleties of client needs, audience sentiment, market trends and external risks. Before putting pen to the paper, they read, research and underline every single detail relevant to the purpose. Their instinct is to process the information before responding which results in developing insightful and informed communication strategies that resonate on a more personal level. 

Process: In terms of ‘Process,’ the partnership between extroverts and introverts is invaluable. Introverts’ creativity and innovation, stemming from their rich inner thought processes, bring fresh perspectives and challenge conventional approaches, enhancing the dynamism of communication campaigns. Extroverts’ ability to generate a variety of ideas is perfectly complemented by introverts’ skill in delving deep into each concept, identifying the most effective and realistic strategies. This synergy balances innovative thinking with practical execution, enriching PR campaigns. In crisis situations, the combination of extroverts’ quick decision-making and introverts’ detailed analysis results in a comprehensive, effective problem-solving approach, addressing immediate needs while formulating long-term strategies.

People: For the ‘People’ aspect, introverts are invaluable in formulating communication strategies that reflect the needs and perspectives of the people involved, thanks to their empathetic listening and understanding. They thrive in one-on-one or small group interactions, fostering deeper, trust-based relationships crucial for running impactful campaigns. On the other hand, extroverts excel in networking and actively engaging, essential for building relationships and attracting stakeholder attention. Their quality to engage effortlessly sparks immediate interest among audiences such as the media.  

Appearances can be misleading. An individual’s passion and commitment should always be prioritised over their apparent personality. In PR, tapping into both introverted and extroverted skills not only elevates the quality of work but also nurtures a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and teamwork. My own experience in this field underscores a fundamental truth: success doesn’t require altering who you are.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Payal Raj
Payal has 15 years of global communications and advocacy experience, covering broadcast business news, journalism, media relations, public affairs, and sustainability communications. She's worked across Asia, Europe, and North America. Currently, as Senior Manager of Sustainability Communications at Mars Pet Nutrition, North America, Payal's expertise encompasses strategic communications, crisis management, issues advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. Her blog provides a global perspective on PR trends and challenges, reflecting her diverse industry background.

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