Can You Be an Introvert and Work in PR?

introvert in a box

It is a misconception, universally acknowledged that to work in PR and communications, you must be outgoing and a people person. Even though PR centres around building relationships, communicating, and networking with diverse types of people – all which undoubtedly require a certain level of confidence – it doesn’t mean that only extroverts can excel in PR.

In fact, some of the best communicators I know are major introverts – me included.

Being able to work a crowd and connect with people is a learned skill. One that anyone can be good at with effort, even if it’s not your default setting. Not only that, but there are many skills that introverts possess that can benefit the PR industry as we’ll see below.

Quality Over Quantity

While introverts might find the idea of communicating with people at networking events or trade shows unnerving, their preference for one-to-one conversations can have a great advantage. Focusing on creating one or two meaningful connections instead of working the whole room has positive consequences. People are more inclined to do business with someone they know and trust, so an introvert’s ability to nurture those connections could be highly beneficial to the team.

Putting Pen to Paper

A vital skill needed to work in PR is not just verbal communication, but written communication too. Press releases, blog posts, award entries, case studies, internal communications, media pitches and emails to clients are just some of the daily writing tasks a PR professional has. Introverts often prefer to put their thoughts into written words rather than vocally, so writing can be a strong talent that you can use to your advantage.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail and ability to focus are some of the most valuable assets for an introvert. Every PR professional’s worst nightmare is having a piece of content published for a client, only to notice that there’s a glaring error within. In PR, being able to proofread and fact check is a necessity and this eye for detail tends to come more naturally to those with introverted personalities.

Calming Influence

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, if you find yourself overwhelmed under pressure then a career in PR and marketing may not be for you. Whilst both introverts and extroverts can possess the ability to stay calm under pressure, introverts tend to exude a calm presence throughout the team when stressful situations arise.

Flow of Creativity

While creativity can be seen in both introverts and extroverts, introverts tend to spend a lot of time and energy into creating clever ideas that work and flourish in a brainstorming environment where they can bounce ideas off others in the team. As a result, you’ll get highly thought-through ideas that are feasible, realistic, and ready to be brough to life.

Variety is the Key

When it comes to personality types, we often mistake introvert and extrovert as to how a person behaves. But, in fact, your personality type refers to where you get your energy from. The difference between an extrovert and an introvert is that extroverts are energised through socialisation and collaboration, whereas introverts receive energy from alone time or in social settings with much smaller groups.

Having a mixture of both personality types can create a well-balanced and successful PR team within your business or agency. Whilst the PR industry needs the public speakers and gregarious personalities, the thoughtful and more reflective ones are just as valuable.

So, don’t let anyone tell you introverts can’t thrive in communications jobs because many of them kill it on a regular basis.