Working as a PR Consultant might be very rewarding for many people. You can connect with journalists, social media influencers, or even join events. However, people often misunderstand PR as a job that is often associated with an extrovert's job, meaning that people need to be outgoing and expressive to be successful in this industry. Furthermore, based on CNN's data (2015), 1 in 3 people in the world are introverted and some of them might work in the PR industry. However, is it true that the introvert cannot be successful in the PR industry? Because of this, introverts see this as a huge challenge for them to survive in the PR industry.
People often misunderstand introverts as ‘shy, unemotional, don’t like working in groups, and poor public speakers’ (Christ 2018). In fact, people often stereotype introverts because they do not understand the meaning and the perks of being introverts. According to Sivy and Jabian (2016) introverts are people whose natural energies, perceptions, and decisions flow inside toward their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This definition differentiates between extroverts while extroverts are people whose energy flows outward when they socialise with other people or join events. Furthermore, introverts and extroverts are differentiated through their perceptions of problems. Most introverts tend to be calm and sensitive toward others. Also, they focus on their deeper meaning when it comes to planning (Wilkes 2017; Erin 2014).
The fact that working in PR requires them to join social activities, such as media relations and parties has created another challenge for introverts It is because their energies drain easily when their job requires them to meet people and join parties (Vo 2019). Furthermore, Goudreau (2012) stated that introverts tend to be less open to others. Hence, many people are underestimating their skills. However, it does not mean that introverts will fail in their careers. In fact, many famous people, such as J.K. Rowling and Bill Gates, are introverts. The key to their success is to unleash the power of introversion as introverts have hidden skills that are overlooked by other people. Furthermore, recently, many companies prefer to work with introverts rather than extroverts. According to the Myers Briggs Company's (2020) research, 56.8% of global populations prefer to work with introverts.
In terms of working in the public relations sector, having introverts can bring various benefits to the team. They are better listeners and excellent planners. Besides that, they can also give better quality as they need to prepare to provide the best (Erin 2014; Peachey 2019). In order for them to shine in the PR world, employers need to support their needs. Burks and Summer (2020) suggested that employers should provide some space to prepare their employees in preparing their bests. Furthermore, employers should not force their employees to talk first as they need to listen to the brief and strategize everything before executing it. It is also very essential that employers should give their ‘me-time’ to the employees.
To summarise above, introverts also can be successful in PR. They need to be themselves and embrace their introversion. Although working as a PR Consultant might be stressful and exhausting, having a ‘me-time’ after work is very effective for you to recharge yourself. However, at the same time, they must not limit themselves by being too introverted, instead, they should work with extroverted people to get new perspectives regarding their life and working styles.