Snagging a great job in PR can be a lot like winning the lottery. Just ask anyone who’s trying to break into the profession.
Though the allure of winning $550 million (or more, as the jackpot continues to grow) in this week’s Powerball
is tantalizing, getting your dream PR job is probably more realistic.
took a look at the highs and lows of playing the lottery and, rather than bet on the draw of six lucky numbers, created this list of a half-dozen winning skills we’d bet on to help you develop a successful, enduring career in public relations:
1. Making thoughtful choices.
Diehard Powerball players often carefully consider the numbers they choose. Great PR pros are faced with choices all the time—the kind that can affect their careers or their organization’s reputation. Staying calm in a storm can settle your team down and bolster your status as a leader.
2. Going with your gut.
Ever get cajoled into a Powerball quick-pick by the guy behind the gas station counter? If you’ve got a good feeling about it, you usually go for it. Combining an intellectual response with your gut reaction can help in making difficult decisions. Several CEOs call it “the tummy quotient”; if a pending decision is giving your stomach that sinking feeling, don’t ignore it.
3. Being a team player.
Many lottery aficionados gather in groups to buy their weekly tickets. Being a Lone Ranger is fine every once in awhile, but if you can’t work in a team, PR is not for you. Whether guiding a group or being an integral part of the team process is key to showing the C-Suite your leadership potential or your client that you can get the job done.
4. Everything in moderation.
Ever stand in line behind a lottery addict? They usually have a pocketful of cash and buy tickets to every game displayed on the counter. Then they’re back next week doing it all over again. PR is one of those professions that can be hard to turn off, especially if you’re still responding to non-urgent messages on the weekend. Stepping back and not thinking about your job for a day or two can help bring clarity and a fresh outlook come Monday morning. It can also prevent burnout.
5. Winning is only the beginning.
It’s a long shot, but you could
win a lottery. After the initial euphoria, the real work begins: hiring a lawyer and fending off long-lost relatives and requests from charitable organizations you’ve never heard of. Winning a new account seems like the successful end of a long journey. In fact, it’s just the beginning; it’s where the real work begins.
6. Don’t squander it.
Many of us have heard the sorry fates of people who have won millions only to end up with less than they had before. Good PR pros know how to create sustainable strategies. Quick hits and one-off press releases may be fine for a 24-hour win, but failing to create a plan that builds upon potential wins can leave your clients/organization at loose ends.