One of my professors told me once, “if PR pros are one thing — it’s self-aware.”
At the time, I was basically like, “yeah yeah yeah… now how are you grading us in this class?” (because seriously where were all the graded papers — J school peeps you know my pain).
Over time, as I have really dove into the industry, I have realized that that statement couldn’t have been more true.
To us, everything is a brand. Everything we say, everything we eat, everything we wear, everything we post.
We are a brand.
And we’re usually pretty good at managing it.
There are pros and cons with this. We are excellent at finding jobs. We are awesome at being “cool.” We pretty much know how to map out our goals and create steps to attain them which is a skill needed in order to be successful (literally guys once I mapped out my goals and dreams in the form of an IMC plan with goals, objectives, strategies, tactics, and messages — I stopped once my mom looked over my shoulder and pretty much told me I’m a psychopath).
The bad part about this, is that we are so aware of ourselves. We do treat ourselves as a brand. And sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up. We look for ways to improve, ways to change, we look for different paths to get us to where we want to go. We think about what we’re saying, how we’re acting, what we’re posting on social media. These can all be good things, but only in moderation.
Only in moderation will all the benefits of being a PR professional pay off on a personal level — when applied to ourself rather than a company or product.
It’s a blessing and a curse. We’re good at getting ahead, we’re often bad at letting ourselves just be ourselves.
So, as you progress through your PR/Ad career, I encourage you to balance it out. Be aware of your skills and apply them to yourself, but also be aware that it’s okay to have more than one interest, more than one favorite color.
It’s okay to drink too much wine and do stupid things sometimes.
That’s what the crisis communications department of your brain is for.
Be a human, make mistakes, handle it, and move on.