Approximately 11 years ago I entered the first stage of my career in public relations and communication. Until the beginning of my work at the Public Relations department of Azerbaijan University of Languages, I had enriched my knowledge and education baggage with a bachelor’s degree from the Philology faculty of Baku State University and some courses in this area. In terms of experience, I have accumulated resources in areas such as journalism, management, and teaching. My expectations were high. Unbelievable presentations of great brands, awards, serious achievements etc. During the years of work, I understood that a career is not a movie. The stories here are not so romantic. You must work with much more pragmatic life stories. A successful career means hard work and sleepless nights. It is impossible to get serious achievements in a career without self-improvement and working day and night. My good resume was just the beginning. Difficult tests lay ahead. And I naively thought that my life and career would go up as in the movies. In fact, this road has ups and downs.
Some people cannot imagine themselves as a police officer or military serviceman. But others consider it as the meaning of their life. They are making a stand on the battlefield and enduring all the hardships of military service, they try to build a career. What a proud sight it is for a man to wear a general’s uniform and participate in parades and events in this uniform. Watching them we think that they were always been a general. They were born as a general. But actually, they have passed from bloody wars, hard battlefields and hard pieces of training that an idle human being cannot endure. Besides it, they must learn war stories, military tactics and strategies and information and instructions on all weapons as well. Besides it, they have to have personal qualities such as making good human relations, psychological knowledge and influence on the people.
Most of professions are like this. The career of military service has a lot of physical and moral hardness. Difficulties on civil works are less than military and they are easier. However, they have also their own obstacles. Public Relations and communication are one of them.
First of all, let’s take a look at what is public relations. It is not advertising. It’s not a profession of writing press-releases, also. It’s also far away from the marketing which main purpose is accelerating of the sales. Public relation is a process of mutually beneficial strategic communications between the organization and its target audience.
When you get a job at a PR agency or an organization’s Public Relations Department, your activity will not be just about brand promotion. You will have to think strategically about building a reputation and building trust. It is a long-term process. Reputation is not formed within a month. Reputation is formed over the years but is destroyed instantly due to a mistake. As a PR professional you need to be in close contact with different interest groups – such as journalists and media companies, government agencies, business networks and other organizations. You can make these connections through personal meetings, media communication, exhibitions, events.
What personal qualities do you need to build a successful career in PR and communication?
1. Should your education be in the field of communication?
Communication or mass communication today refers to newspapers, news sites, radio, television, etc. means of communication. How much can education help you in this area? This question is a bit difficult to answer. Because we can show people who can build a very successful career in the local and foreign PR community that their main specialities are not closely related to the field in general. However, personal qualities, such as written and verbal communication skills, as well as technological knowledge can help you build a successful career in this field.
2. Glamour is a small part of the work
Many people think that working in the field of PR and communication, their daily lives will be full of various glamorous events, dinners with celebrities etc. But PR is not a big party to spend every day surrounded by glamorous people. This activity, like other types of business, is based on a stable plan and program. Plans are made and activities are carried out according to those plans. At the end of the work, monitoring is carried out and the effectiveness of the activity is evaluated. An action plan can sometimes include glamorous activities. But while these events may seem appealing to outsiders, they are a hard work routine for you. Your goal is sometimes to create that glamorous look on your forehead.
3. Ability to influence people
If you have a perfect idea, it is a serious challenge to be able to convey these ideas to people and get them interested. You need to be able to sell that idea. In a big way, PR is a sales process. It is not the sale of products and services, but the sale of ideas. The ability to influence the people and build their trust is important for a PR employee, as well any salesperson. This ability is formed along with personal qualities, education, knowledge and experience.
4. Introvert or extravert… It doesn’t really matter
Sometimes it is thought that PR people should be more extravert. More sociable, active people can succeed in PR, but self-contained, calm, and shy people are not for this field. In fact, it has a little affect to the PR work. Because the communication process depends more on the knowledge of specific communication tools and their usability, rather than on the psychological portrait of the person. The key abilities are to be able to identify messages, to be able to analyze their impact on the masses, and to be able to convey those messages when needed. The process is carried out by press releases, films, concerts, exhibitions, social media accounts and other means. In this regard, a PR employee’s awareness of the above characteristics depends more on whether his character is introverted or extrovert.
5. Success is important. Nothing can describe it as good as results
You can be smart, creative, and enterprising. You can even show all your knowledge and abilities to make your ideas come true. Your work process can be tense. But in the end, everything is evaluated depending on the result. As with any project, works in the field of PR must be specific, measurable, and realistic. If the result of expectations is met, no one will look at the path to that. If the results are not desirable, no one will care what difficulties you went through to reach those results.
So, we shared our experience on some features to build a career in PR. If you have the above mentioned personal qualities, you also have chance of successful career in PR.