Today’s guest post talks about the increasingly large role of women in the PR industry. But we can do so much more in terms of influence and impact. Read on to learn the six essential qualities we need to thrive and succeed. ~ Elena
When it comes to sheer volume, women dominate the PR industry.
Anywhere from 60 to 85 percent of PR workers are women, and they hold more than half of the field’s managerial positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a huge jump since 1970, when women were just 27 percent of the PR labor force.
But the C-suite is still something of a boys’ club. Women comprise just 20 percent of the top leadership in PR firms, according to Ragan.com. As Sarahjane Saccheti, the former marketing director for Secret, told the Atlantic, “It’s all women out there. And the two people running it are dudes.”
It’s a familiar tune. The pay-and-power disparity plays out across all U.S. industries, as captured in this infographic about women in business.
But the news isn’t all somber. Women have already made enormous strides in the work world, and the female-dominated PR industry is uniquely positioned to lead the way to real equality. A starting point: transparent pay structures, as advocated by Arment Dietrich founder Gini Dietrich. Like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, she also encourages women to negotiate starting salaries rather than accept an employer’s first offer.
What else do women need to thrive in the PR industry? Our top six tips:
- Business acumen – Results count, no matter who’s doing the work. What does your client need in order to be successful, and how can you create and execute the plans to get them to their goal?
- Education – Learning doesn’t end with your degree. As Elena advises in a previous post, stay informed about both your industry and current events. Even better: Spread your knowledge by writing about the PR field.
- Mentoring – To see real progress, women need to support their younger peers entering the profession. Whether formal or informal, a mentoring relationship can be a real boon to both parties.
- Emotional intelligence – Beyond a firm grasp of the client’s business situation, a successful PR pro must anticipate and navigate the often-choppy emotional waters that come with the profession.
- Creativity within constraints – Many women thrive on the challenge of inventing new ways to promote a client or a product while balancing the limitations of budget and brand.
- Communication savvy – The must-have skill for PR practitioners, communication encompasses writing, tweeting, face-to-face meetings, events, you name it. The ultimate goal? To build solid, satisfying relationships with colleagues and clients.
Far from the party-all-the-time portrait of Samantha Jones on “Sex and the City,” women in PR work tirelessly to build awareness and credibility for their companies and clients. Doesn’t your career deserve the same care and attention?
What skills are you cultivating for the next chapter?
All Business Schools
An active member of Seattle’s women business community, Kelly Huffman is the marketing content manager for AllBusinessSchools.com. We’ve been connecting aspiring business students to their ideal schools since 2001.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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