Being an introvert in the extroverted world of PR
As a young girl there was nothing I loved more than writing a story or playing with a few close friends. I wasn’t one for big parties and the thought of having to talk to a complete stranger had me running for the nearest exit. So then why would I choose to enter the public relations field notoriously known for outgoing and charismatic extroverts?
Hear me out. I’m not a shy or anti-social person; I love making meaningful connections and no, I don’t hate people. Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not poor communicators and introversion is not the same as shyness. So then what exactly does it mean? Simply put, we get drained from extensive socializing and we continuously need to recharge our energy… alone.
It is by truly understanding my innate temperament that I can attest that PR can be an incredible industry for us introverted professionals. And here is why:
We’re good listeners: we genuinely care about people and what they have to say. Clients like knowing they are truly being heard and understood.
We take our time: even on deadline, nothing is rushed. We take our time to interpret our thoughts and ideas in order to ensure the content we are providing is thoughtful, accurate and of high-quality.
We form quality relationships: we tend to prefer having close relationships with a few people rather than having many acquaintances. I would much rather call up my editor friend than ‘ping’ thousands of contacts in hopes of getting a story out there.
We stay calm: when crisis hits, introverts remain cool and collected. We tend to be the diffuser of the situation instead of adding more stress and anxiety.
We’re good writers: I have always found writing to come more naturally than speaking. This is because I have time to really process and prepare what I want to say, rather than flying off the cuff.
We don’t crave the spotlight: of course I am capable of public speaking, I am actually pretty good at it, but it’s not what I prefer doing. There are many behind-the-scenes tasks required in public relations where I prefer to show my talent including organizing interviews, writing and editing, managing brand reputations and creating visual design material.
We push ourselves: sometimes I still need to take a deep breath before I walk into a networking event or lead a client meeting. But as soon as we get started I am more than comfortable and forget all about my initial apprehension. Continuously stepping out of our comfort zone means we never feel complacent with our jobs.