Some call it their "purpose," others stumble upon it by surprise.
It's a brand new year and you may be thinking about a career change. Your job may have hit a stale period and you're looking for something that's a little bit more exciting.
When you say PR, most think that this is just a career of "spin-offs," meaning it's full of crap. Some of you may have been inspired by Olivia Pope in Scandal and you think you also want to be the next Gladiator. However, there's more to PR than just creating a "good image" for a person or a brand.
WHAT IS PR & THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY?
PR or press relation is all about messaging. It's about creativity and it's about performance.
According to U.S. News & World Report, is ranked #2 in Best Creative Media Jobs. Between 2014 to 2024, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics expect a 6 percent growth in PR-related jobs.
As content marketing and digital advertising grows, the role of PR in media strategies expand as well. Since there is now a way to target audiences where they are spending more time in, PR is no longer related to doing TV advertisements and reporting. The platform for press media has now expanded even to influencers that they can become a central part of media strategies as well, Adage noted.
Grey Activation & PR CEO Claudia Strauss said the role of PR in the new digital landscape is not easily understood by many, but they train their staff to coordinate with different companies and marketing agencies to make a more efficient strategy. Strauss also said that PR is more than just putting advertisements out there.
We're not buying eyeball. When you buy an ad, you're guaranteeing eyeballs, but when you're earning, you need to engineer the content for news—you don't have a choice."
Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of digital agency 360i, the role of PR is important in making sure all of the digital marketing efforts the team has put in would reach a wider audience.
There's a lot of collaboration that happens in a PR agency. (Image via ThinkStock)
Though there's still a tug of war between media and PR, it has been seen that companies that know how to collaborate well bring out the best results for their clients.
"I don't see a world where marketing gets so blurred that everyone will be experts in in-store, out-of-home, TV, radio, print and PR. I see a world of specialists who can build on each other and exploit an idea by bringing those skills together and having inherent knowledge of each space."
— Harris Diamond, McCann Worldgroup chairman-CEO -
Is PR Right For You?
As noted by PR Daily, it's not exactly the 9-to-5 job you would expect. PR is a whirlwind of a career, but to be successful in a PR career, there are a few things you need to have.
1. Understanding of Relationships
There is a lot of communication that happens in PR. From collaborating with agencies, contractors, clients and the media, a PR person should know how to build and maintain relationships. It's also a misconception that PR is best fit for extroverts, but introverts are also good listeners. It takes a special person to set aside their ego and just listen instead of trying to be "right" to prove a point.
Relationship-building is a mandatory in PR. One day you will be meeting an intern in BBC who will eventually cover the best docu-series of the year. It's all about keeping in mind that each person you associate with are important and professional integrity should be raised to the highest regard.
2. There's a lot of writing.
PR is not just about being able to speak with different types of people all the time. From email correspondence to creating press releases, PR people love writing. Since there's also an increase in content marketing, PR has to catch up with the trend.
PR writing also includes a basic background in journalism (mostly AP style) since they submit releases to media publications and professionals.
You don't necessarily need to be the best-selling author in New York Times, but if you have a way with words, this could do very well with a PR career.
3. Fast-Paced Environments Are Breezy For You
PR is basically a roller-coaster. You need to be very organized to keep track of everything that is happening in your business. As mentioned above, there is a lot of communication that happens in a project. When dealing with clients and multiple projects, you also need to know how to catch up with extreme deadlines and probably beat them as well.
PR pros often feel the pressure of client and executive expectations, such as quotas. As newsrooms shrink, PR pros can help shoulder the load, but they face ever-tightening deadlines—and those who can keep pace will come out on top.
If you're not used to working under pressure, this is probably not the best fit. But, if you're a person who likes to challenge himself/herself, there's a lot of demands that come with fulfilling a PR project. There's a lot at stake when it comes to delivering what you promised and going beyond what your client expects.
PR is a very exciting world for professionals, but it's clearly not for the faint-hearted. However, if you still think you're up for it, let us know in the comments below! Are you a PR PRO? What are your best tips and advice for those who are looking to transition in this career?