Goodbye PR Sorority Girl. Hello PR Rebel.
There is a stereotype about the quintessential PR person and I used to be one of them. In this episode of PR Talk, Mike and I talk through the stereotype and how even though it is untrue, it is quite inhibiting to live within the stereotype if you possess some of the characteristics. Over the years, I’ve slowly pulled myself away from this stereotype. In fact, I delve even more into some of these personal topics in my new book, A Practical Guidebook to PR [working title], which will hopefully be available soon! 😀
The PR stereotype — or “Archetype” — is exhibited on both the outside and the inside. Outside appearances aren’t just about looks. How we act and what we’re involved in are ways we further augment outside appearances. Strictly appearance-speaking, many people think of the PR Archetype as a sorority/fraternity type, otherwise known as “preppy.” But if that person was still in high school, they are also likely to be involved in many, many, many activities, such as sports or clubs and they more than likely are in charge of something — whether that is their social clique, a student council committee, captain of the football team, or all of the above.
But what doesn’t always get examined is what’s going on “inside” this Archetype. They are most likely perfectionists, not only in how they appear on the outside but also how they treat themselves on the inside. To excel in PR, you do need to have some perfectionist tendencies but this episode touches on how perfectionism breeds fear. What’s funny is that I used to brag about being a perfectionist, but through personal development work I’ve recognized perfectionism as a weakness and sign of insecurity.
So, I’ve been working on letting go of my perfectionist tendencies bit by bit, pulling out the rebel that lives inside of me and every PR Archetype. We talk, and I write, about how the rebel needs to come in and shake things up. You can’t always recognize the rebel through appearances only. While I still look like my sorority girl self, my actions are different. I am not joining every group I get invited to and maybe not even sitting in the front row at conferences (?!). Most importantly. I am no longer hindered by the classic PR quality of perfectionism.
We must eschew the PR Archetype to move beyond the traditional boundaries of PR. Let’s look to other disciplines and the unique talents differing personalities can bring. The abundant types of PR and the way the industry is evolving ensures there’s room for all skill sets. PR has a place for the rebel—who is anyone who doesn’t fit the “norm.”
This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon
Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.
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