Is PR Right for Me?

PR 2.0

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PR right for you... Ask Paul Revere

I just finished an interview with Angela Hernandez, the President of PRSSA at Central Michigan University (CMU).  I was very happy to interview with Angela because the topic, “Is PR Right for me?” is important for the growth of the public relations industry.  We need to attract future PR leaders who are the best and the brightest.  Garnering the experience of industry professionals and having them share perspective is a great way to motivate PR’s next generation of experts.

Angela’s interview really made me think deeply into my PR memory bank to remember and extract personal information about the growth of my career and to provide my opinion on what makes a good PR person.  Now, I don’t want to give away my answers, because Angela will be posting my interview on her blog, In the Lede, soon.  However, I will share a few of my favorite questions and then add a few more questions and answers to continue the interview here.

My favorite questions posed by Angela were:

  • What are three absolutely essential abilities a PR pro?
  • What are some “unexpected” skills you’ve used?
  • How big of a role does personality play in PR job success?
  • Fill in the blank: PR probably isn’t the right field for you if you hate to ….

A few additional questions (and answers) to add to the interview would be:

Q: How important is technology for today’s PR person?

A:  Technology is very important.  PR people need to understand how to use new monitoring technology to keep track of conversations in the blogosphere.  We must learn how to use WordPress, SharePoint and back end content management programs.  We also need to be educated on website analytics to understand consumer behavior on the Internet.  Lastly, I think that PR people should be savvy at Web search and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  With all of these new technology-focused responsibilities, the role of the PR professionals has certainly expanded.  There’s so much more to do, and, as a result, you are seen as an even more valuable asset to your organization.  As we focus on Web 2.0 and even as we enter into Web 3.0, the Semantic Web, technology will remain a constant.

Do you have a PR role model?

A:  My PR role model was a good friend of our family and the PR professional who helped me to secure my first internship, which later turned into my first job out of college.  His name is Fraser Seitel and when I first met him he was a VP at Chase Manhattan Bank.  Fraser was my 4th grade teacher’s husband and really someone that I grew up with and always admired.  As I developed in my PR career, I would see Fraser on Fox News commenting about different PR debacles and to me he is considered, The Father of Public Relations.  He’s best known for his college textbook (that probably every student has read by now), The Principles of Public Relations, which is in its 10th edition.  Fraser is the very reason that so many of us understand the comprehensive practice of PR and the importance of building a relationship.  Fraser has a private consulting practice today and is very well respected PR practitioner.

What was one of your favorite PR campaign and why?

One of my favorite campaigns was the launch of JVC’s GY-DV300 camcorder, a broadcast quality camera that streamed wireless to the Internet and the first of its kind.  So many times I’ve read in news releases how you have a “ground breaking” product.  Well, this particular product was truly revolutionary.  Because it was an MPEG-4 camcorder, you could stream content and upload it to your website in real time.  It was very exciting to have the physical launch of the Streamcorder in Baja Mexico at Fox Studios and be streaming live content of an interview taking place in Times Square in New York City.  The launch garnered hundreds of placements and the camera won awards by the major trade magazines at the 2004 National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  That was by far one of the most exciting campaigns because we were breaking new ground and introducing something that was never possible before.  JVC came to market with this product before Sony and Panasonic and it was spectacular!

I added in these three questions because they help a person contemplating a career in PR to see the type of responsibilities on a daily basis, the excitement of the campaign and also the nature and support of a PR mentor.  What questions would you add to help a young professional to answer the question:  Is PR Right for me?

17 Responses to " Is PR Right for Me? "

  1. What else would I do RT @smt504: Additional Q&A to @angelahernandez‘s “Is PR right for me” by @BrotherMagneto http://tinyurl.com/nsk8ge

  2. Deirdre,

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. This is a great follow-up post that really expands on the question “Is PR Right For Me?” Your points about technology and role models are very helpful as well. Our Q & A session is officially posted at the link above. Thanks again!

    All the best,
    Angela

  3. Deirdre says:

    Hi Angela, you’re welcome. I thought the interview topic was great and really enjoyed thinking about how PR can be a wonderful career for the right person. Also glad you liked the additional Q&A!

  4. John says:

    Read with great interest, very interesting story. Begin to remember, I still started.

  5. Mackeran says:

    Interesting and informative. But will you write about this one more?

  6. Webmaster says:

    Thank you for your article! I hope the author do not mind, if I use it for their course..

  7. Annet says:

    I am a young professional working in press and marketing who would like to move into PR. I wonder if you could you tell me what personality traits are useful to have in this career? I think this would help me to decide if it’s for me. Many thanks!

  8. Deirdre says:

    Hi Annet! PR is a great field if you enjoy writing and speaking. I also think that PR people tend to be outgoing, detail oriented and are persistent (it takes time to build a relationship). It’s also very important to be a good listener. Those a few of the personality traits. I recently participated in an interview, “Is PR Right for Me?” which may help you in your decision. My interview is a part of a 5-part series by Angela Hernandez, PRSSA president at CMU. Here’s a link to the interview: http://tinyurl.com/laas2m. Good luck with your decision and let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  9. Hi! I’ve found link on twitter – great article 🙂 I’m so jealous that you are so close to the best PR specialist in the world.

    In Poland we have got a few great PR peaople, but we have go just 20years polish PR history, so it is much less then yours public relations.
    Fraser Seitel – very very nice model 😉 we are reading his book in University of Wroclaw

    Take care

  10. Deirdre says:

    Hello Luiza, I’m so glad you found my blog. I think Fraser is a top notch PR professional and I admire him too 🙂 I hope you are enjoying his book. I remember reading it years ago. It’s a great textbook for PR students! Take care and thanks for commenting.

  11. Mary Ann says:

    Hi deirdre ,

    Your post was very useful to me. I am waiting for my offer letter for the course of Master of Communications. While browsing for some assessments I came across your article . Thanks for the info .

    Warm regards
    Max.

  12. […] the event which is open to all students.  Hernandez was also featured in the five-part blog series Is PR Right For Me.  According to Deirdre Breakenridge, author of the blog PR 2.0 Strategies, the following questions […]

  13. Ivaelle says:

    This article was very interesting and made me really think about whether or not PR is something I should look into. I’m good at spreading the word about different events and clubs but is that enough to handle being a PR person?

  14. Deirdre says:

    Hi Ivaelle! Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. PR is a rewarding career when you love to build relationships through communication. PR people not only get the word out…but they are also critical thinkers, communications strategists, research and measurement focused, great listeners and conversationalists, content creators (great writers) and have excellent communications skills to connect with stakeholders to build awareness and customer loyalty for brands. PR is a very exciting career and definitely one that requires a passion and love for communication 🙂

  15. Sharon says:

    Hey could you repost the answer to those questions you asked at the top? I can’t find The Ledge blog (it seems to have been removed. A google search of it does give me a website with a bunch of random html though) I really want to get some answers to some of those questions.

  16. Hi Sharon, you can search on Angela Hernandez’s blog for the original interview and those questions. Here blog address is http://www.angelamhernandez.com/. She conducted a 5 part interview with several experts who answered the question. Thanks!

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