I am a public relations professional. I am not associated with an ad agency, or any big agency. I fly solo. Yet, every so often I receive email intro’s from soon to be graduating seniors with a public relations degree (yep, they exist!) and they are looking for a potential new home to create their PR magic. I’m not hiring, but I always offer advice if asked. One of the key comments I take away from so many young aspiring PR professionals is that they are all looking for the big client, the big media hit, the big buck.
Public Relations is a quiet medium. When I run into a PR person that can’t stop talking, I wonder how the company sales force overlooked them. PR people must have good listening skills. You must listen to your clients, to your journalists, to your clients’ customers.
I have half jokingly said that I’m more match maker, or ambassador, than a business person. By listening you learn to pick up key words, feelings, attitudes from clients, end-users, and the media. Bringing them together, forming lasting relationships, takes time, takes commitment on the part of myself and my clients, but the end result is what we are after. Big hits, I’ve had a few, but it’s the many, many small hits that add up on the bottom line.
So, I wish all the newbies luck, and this Holiday Season, I wish them patience. The word “relations” is part of our job title for a reason – it is through people that we create success for our clients.