The world of public relations is a very exciting one to be in. Something new happens every day and it very rarely is boring. It might be annoying, downright crazy, disappointing or fun, but bored is not a feeling you are likely to run across as a PR pro.
Of its many paradoxes, one that has always intrigued me concerns PR being or not something personal. If you think about it, a good PR pro is a person that gets involved all the way in the campaigns they run. They have to know the products or services they promote, they have to love them and they have to really put their soul into what they do. If they don’t get involved, it shows in the words they pick, in their nonverbal communication, in their inability to relate. So PR is a very personal affair.
On the other hand, in order to keep your sanity, you have to remind yourself that a lot of the things that happen to you as a PR professional are not personal. It’s nothing personal and explicitly directed at you when a journalist overlooks your story for a far less interesting one from a bigger company, no matter how good your pitch has been. It’s nothing personal when people call a PR fail something that a client did by disregarding your advice. It’s nothing personal when you get an amazing story published and the only clients who comment are those with a problem with the company the story is about. It’s nothing personal when clients get enthusiastic about PR, then decide it’s too expensive and it actually takes time to get results (regardless of how you explained this very points right from the start).
So in order to be a success in this profession, you have to be able to be all heart and then say to yourself: “Hey, it’s nothing personal!” Easy to say, hard to accomplish. At least in the first wave a reaction, we take what we shouldn’t very personally. The disappointment and sometimes hurt is quite real. So if you cannot completely become impersonal when you need to, find a secluded spot, give yourself a couple of minutes to recover, and then look in a mirror and say: “It’s nothing personal!” although for you it is.
What are your personal experiences? What do you consider being personal, directed at you, and when can you be detached and see things as something that has nothing to do with you? How do you cope and how do you keep yourself motivated?