Nine attributes of a PR pro

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, nine ladies dancing. The nine ladies remind us of the nine ‘fruits of the Spirit’ described in Galatians but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

All of the above attributes come in extremely handy to have if you work in the world of PR and in today’s post we’re going to discuss how each is linked to the industry.

Love – We work around 260 days a year. Or about 2,000 hours. Quite a lot isn’t it? The most successful entrepreneurs naturally love what they do. They evangelise. They enthuse. They’re infectious. Sure, they all have rubbish days but they generally see the positive – and are driven by a sense of purpose and affinity with what they’re doing.

Joy – For being successful anywhere, one must be physically fit, mentally calm and alert. Such a person is joyful. A stressed person lacks these attributes. Success dependent joy is transient. However, a joyful attitude is irrespective of the external factors. A joyful person is also able to handle setbacks much better. Hence, joyfulness is far more important as a way of life itself. 

Peace – Work brings together people of different characters and behaviour and this often causes friction, resentment and stress. You need to be a peaceful calm person to overcome this. Stay calm, talk, act and talk peacefully and you become a leading power now matter what your position is at work.

Patience – Whether it is waiting to hear back from journalists or producers that you have pitched, or simply understanding that a PR campaign takes time to gain traction and evolve, if you don’t have patience, you will never be able to do PR.

Kindness – Tough challenges are a fact of life in the PR industry, where the role of communications is often to help to change behaviour or perception. That’s difficult. Few things will endear you to your boss more than this: become the person who comes forward with solutions alongside their problems. It doesn’t have to be the solution they choose, but the fact that you’re thinking it through and considering solutions demonstrates the kind of mindset that managers adore.

Goodness – Be a good PR person and whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in the industry for years, it’s integral to constantly learn in order to stay on top of our industry. Never stop being curious and be a good sponge.

Faithfulness – Whether you’re dealing with executives in your company, or with clients at other firms, strive to become a trusted advisor to them. Go beyond what you ‘have’ to do and become a partner. Flag opportunities and threats. Offer strategic options. Learn to empathise with them. Have difficult conversations when you need to. Push them to take the right approach (but know when to accept their decision). Don’t just take orders.

Gentleness – Be gentle with your clients, customers, bosses and colleagues. Help them by always thinking outside your bubble. It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day routine. Instead look around and proactively identify ways in which you can be helpful to others and if something goes wrong, stay calm, find a solution and be the person that can be relied on.

Self control – PR pros have to deal with difficult situations that come up all the time, many of which can’t be predicted. These are the moments where you can distinguish yourself and improve your reputation or the reverse. Be the person who doesn’t lose their head.

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