By: MaiLei Meyers
Every public relations or advertising job posting I have come across during my summer internship search asks for the same skill set (organization, strong writing, time management, etc.) But in addition to the ”standard skills” checklist, personality characteristics can be an equally important component to consider when choosing a team to work with.
Many professionals that I have crossed paths with have every notch on their resume marked for employment eligibility in the strategic communications field, but may not be equipped with the right character traits. Being kind, having perseverance, and empathy are all great qualities to have, especially when pursuing strategic communications work.
“Being kind” may sound cheesy, but it’s an important, basic component we often overlook. Communication is key and it’s right there in the overarching title of our work. If dominating a meeting or brainstorming session is your go-to, evaluating how you are perceived by others may be a step in the right direction.
At the same time, forming working relationships with the media and clients you serve can be challenging. Pitching ideas, stories and concepts does not guarantee their adoption. Persevering and remaining optimistic will only showcase your spirit and drive to succeed. Handling rejection and learning from each opportunity are universal experiences regardless of industry.
Finally, when considering how many points of view a strategic communications professional can be exposed to in just one day, empathy slides in for the save. For example, publishing a feature news release at one angle may not be ideal for every stakeholder involved. Empathy comes into play when we need to understand why others feel the way they do. Through empathy comes compromise and that brings you one step closer to maintaining the long-lasting professional relationships you desire.
Maintaining our humility and humanity when working in any line of business is the goal, but especially one that involves as much interpersonal interaction as strategic communications.
Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash