Why PR can feel like dating


Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s is upon us once again. For the most romantic day of the year, the agenda for singles is normally to avoid the annual slew of pink tat at the supermarket before drowning one’s sorrows with a bottle of vino, and for couples it means feeling obliged to be the most loved-up over a Padana in your local Pizza Express.

But trials and tribulations for mere mortals aside, come V day, for us PR’s it sometimes feels like we are a little too well-versed in the dating game. Juggling a portfolio of clients, while often anxiety inducing, has the unexpected benefit of preparing us for some classic dating scenarios, and here’s why:

Digging up the dirt *ahem* – “research”

You know the drill, you swipe on Tinder and agree to go on a date. Long gone are the days of casually finding out about someone’s interests, past and closet skeletons through the art of conversation. Oh no, in the 21st century consider your social media channels thoroughly ‘investigated’. Whilst dating means trawling through a holiday album on Facebook, for PRs it means being well-versed in analysing a potential client’s social media accounts, determining where their strengths and weaknesses are, scouring the news for any coverage – positive or negative – and going into that first meeting knowing them inside out. Far from ‘stalking’, for any client meeting, this is key to developing your strategy moving forward.

How to make a conversation out of nothing and about anything

Oh you LOVE stamp collecting? ME TOO! Fascinating stuff.

First date conversations can often go dry and you’ll need more than that glass of Pinot Grigio to liven things up. But for PRs, look on the bright side! Once you write a release about the intricacies of tow bars, you know you can wrangle circa 300 words out of anything. An ability to write, and write about a broad range of subjects, and then discuss it with a journalist is key for securing news coverage, and if you’ve worked in an agency, you may find you develop knowledge around a diverse, and often quirky, range of subjects.

You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find THE ONE

The ghoster, the cling-on, the one that got away… working with clients in a PR agency can often feel like re-living your dating history. But the key thing to remember is that the nature of agency life is its constant change. One week you might be working on a short term social media project, the next you could be working on a month-long campaign. Whilst some projects will inspire you more than others, you know that once you find your feet and know where your strengths lie, it can be so rewarding.

It goes for new business too, you might come out of a pitch feeling elated, only to find out you’re not the one for them. But persist; both agency and client alike can find ‘the one’.