I’ll be honest with you, when I applied to university to study PR & Communications, I didn’t really know what I was going to be doing, but the UCAS deadline (along with my parents) was nagging away at me. Luckily, I soon found I loved PR. But just in case that doesn’t happen in your case, I’ve come up with 5 reasons that PR may not be the career for you.
1. You don’t like/struggle with writing
One of the reasons I applied to study PR was because a lot of the uni PR course prospectus’ I read involved a lot of writing. It may make me a tad lame, but the word ‘essay’ has always appealed to me somewhat – all my A-Levels were essay based and I was fine with that. So far throughout my degree, every single unit has involved writing, but many different styles of writing; essays, reports, press releases, blog posts, CEO statements…you name it. You don’t have to love or even remotely enjoy every different writing style, but it’s important to be able to do it.
2. You don’t like/struggle with talking in front of audiences
Before this freaks you out, just know the large majority of people aren’t comfortable doing this and it takes everyone a bit of practice. In PR talking to and in front of people is a big thing so if you think, even with a bit of practice, speaking in public will freak you out big time, maybe PR isn’t quite for you. I love public speaking now, debates and presentations etc, but here’s a throwback for ya: when I was about 8 or 9, I was a member of St. John’s Ambulance and at a church service (it escapes me what for) I was meant to read a bible verse out to a big audience and I got scared, had a tantrum in front of everyone and refused to do it. Lol.
3. You’d rather hang out with your cat than other humans
Well, I hate cats, so I’m probably bias, but with this point I’m trying to get at the fact that PR is a very sociable and interactive industry. This means that at events you’ll actually have to talk to people instead of spend your whole night by the buffet, so if the thought of making conversations and networking with new people kind of fills you with dread, it’s possible you won’t enjoy working in PR.
4. Being organised doesn’t come naturally to you
PR involves a lot of multitasking; writing a press release for a client whilst trying to get in contact with the celeb that is attending the opening of a new restaurant whilst coming up with an apology statement for your fellow employee who accidentally tweeted that she ‘can’t believe she was so drunk last night that she danced on the bar with one shoe on’ on the company account instead of her personal account. See what I mean? Busy stuff being a PR person. Organisation is most definitely key.
5. You aren’t really bothered about what’s going on in the world
PR professionals have to be constantly aware of the latest headlines and news stories. You remember the recent online phenomenon of ‘The Dress’ (of course you do, everywhere you went someone shoved a picture of quite an ugly dress in your face) the Salvation Army were on the ball with that and within days produced a campaign against domestic violence by using The Dress. If they didn’t keep up to date with what the world was talking about, they wouldn’t have been able to produce that campaign so fast.
So there you go, a few things that may make you want to stay clear of PR or maybe even make you realise PR could be for you!