I am posing this question after having just read an article – “Why Are There So Many Women in Public Relations?” – on The Atlantic magazine’s website. It piqued my interest for a few reasons: I’m a woman and I work for a public relations agency with a female-only staff including the president and owner of the company.
The article also mentioned that many women in PR careers started out in the Journalism field – and this also mirrored my experience. I have a Journalism degree (Long Island University – Brooklyn campus) and after a long and successful career as an editor in magazine publishing, I made “the move” to a second career in public relations as Senior Editorial Manager at Constructive Communication. Most of our team members have this same journey – journalism, publishing, then landed in PR at our company.
My writing and editing skills were a perfect complement to public relations work, but were there other “female talents” that made the job so suitable for me? At the risk of insulting all men in the PR field, I can only speak for myself and for my experiences as a team member with CCI.
From years of working with cantankerous publishing executives and striving to meet deadlines, I’ve learned that patience, persistence and “talking with a smile” (even over the phone) will get you everywhere and, most of the times, what you need to get the job done. Exactly the skills needed to work with my clients every day. Oh, and did I mention, I really like to talk to people – about anything, all day long.
These “skills” come in handy when I am first working with a client – getting to know them, understanding their marketing needs and how I can help them meet their goals. Sometimes, potential clients aren’t even sure what their needs are to begin with, so there is a lot of education and soul-searching that must be done – perfect for someone (like me) who likes delving into things and finding a solution.
It’s also been said that women are better at multi-tasking than men. Again, I can only speak from my own experiences – but whether at work or at home I am usually involved in several projects at once. While that doesn’t necessarily mean I am doing “seven” things at the same time – it does mean that I move seamlessly from one task to another – whether it’s working on several client projects throughout the day or managing my household and all the sundry tasks – shopping, cleaning, organizing, cooking, socializing, etc.
I like to be organized – an important ability when working on several clients’ articles and projects. Whether it’s gathering information, interviewing, writing, or getting a project to completion – knowing where everything is and that everything is in its place – makes it much easier to “jump into a task” at a moment’s notice (since one never knows when a client needs something – now!).
I share these skills with my female co-workers – and we all work together well – even though we work at offices situated throughout the country. We know we’ll be always be there for each other – to help with a client situation or offer advice on how to handle a project, and also to rejoice over a family accomplishment or provide consolation when needed. I do think that women are particularly good at being compassionate and striving through the day no matter what happens – just because we have to be there for our families and friends – and because we want to be there.
So, yes, I do think that women are good at Public Relations. That isn’t to say that men aren’t good at it, but at least at the PR firm I call home, all of us gals have recognized the importance of the attributes I describe and applying them to serve our clients. Give Constructive Communication a call and let us know what you think!