Mentor Me PR Series: Your Probable Identity Crisis

Back in the day when PR was pure, we knew who we were. I was an agency brat in Chicago, others went corporate and still others vied their trade in non-profit. It was a grand time, earning little money, getting no respect from marketing, and not having a seat at the boardroom table.

My, how times change.

Today, public relations is one of the most viable disciplines in the marketing sector. Over time, new skills and competencies form in abundance; confidence grows, and becoming a counselor is as sure as a chameleon changing its colors.

As we in this often secretive field have seen, the biggest influence on change has been the Internet and the new digital world in which we live. There are marketing types who specialize in a plethora of skills, and often PR is right there wanting in. At least that’s my experience!

Why I’ve always loved agency public relations is because I get to know a little about a lot; I can represent clients from a variety of sectors and industries and apply core principles to their business strategy and communications goals.

How About You?

If you’re youthfully in this profession of ours, public relations marketing, it’s highly likely you’re suffering with an identity crisis. If not today, then soon; promise, and that’s really good.

who am I? identity crisis PR

photo credit: ¤čnapshot 19 via photopin cc

Do go through your career asking “why,” and “who am I.” It provides you clarity for the future and helps direct your path. When you take a position that felt right during the interview process, listen to your gut and instinct if there was a twinge wrong. There will be many times you take the wrong gig; that’s OK! It’s part of growth and learning to open the eyes wider.

When PR gets the brunt end of the knife by business leaders for not standing up to expectation, perhaps you may be on the receiving end and want to hang the head in a low position. I understand; we’ve all been there and will continue to be. Again, it’s part of growth and maturity. Think of it like seasoning the pan with layers and layers of oils and spices; the more seasoning, the richer the broth!

Identity Crisis

Because we’re in public relations, we’re bound to have a few periods where we think we’re a marketer or copywriter and we realize we can blend over there but we bring a bit more that’s different. Maybe we’re that new fangled “SEO PR” which does NOT exist. How about being a digital marketer who does split tests, calls to action, landing pages, and loves the analytics? Could be, but I hasten a guess that may not be your calling.

Guess what? Go there anyway. Head into all these directions and learn those ropes, too. Then come back to your core and build upon your public relations credibility with new knowledge.


Because you owe it to yourself to learn where and with whom you can; everyone is a teacher, you just need to open your eyes to what’s new and more.

And, one more thing? I’m right here to help guide you along the path; may I help?

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  • Hi Jayme,

    Happy Monday!

    I agree with you about the feeling of an "Identity Crisis" and I think companies and agencies have a lot to do with this. I see a lot of job postings for PR or Social Media Specialists that also require applicants to have experience with HTML and graphic design.

  • Oh, man – this is spot on Jayme… I love the words you use; "who", "why", "core" – – the convey that you "care"… Not only PR professionals should start here, but every business owner should if they desire to build companies people talk about. Cheers!

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