Episode 2 Transcription: Can introverts succeed in PR & marketing roles?
Welcome to unique impressions–the podcast for PR & marketing pros who want to up-level their success. We’re here to help you create a happy, healthy and wealthy career that you LOVE.
I’m your host, Shauna Nuckles, and you’re listening to Episode 2: Can introverts succeed in PR & marketing roles. Well, can you? We’ll discuss in today’s episode.
When we think of a successful PR and marketing professional, what do we typically envision? Our mind usually paints a picture of someone who is bubbly, outgoing, the person who is the life at the party and commands the attention of a room.
Because this is what most of us picture when we think of PR & marketing pros, it’s the exact reason why those are the most common examples of success.
And of course, people who have those qualities can be really successful in this industry. But i’m here to tell you that there is definitely a place (and a need) within PR agencies, marketing firms and corporations — and every other kind of business — for marketers who are introverted.
For anyone who knows me, it’s not going to come as any kind of surprise that I describe myself as an introvert. By definition, introverts are people who recharge and gain their energy from being alone. Extroverts are the opposite–they are recharged by being around people.
While, these are the baseline definitions of an introvert vs an extrovert, there are other qualities than many introverts have that can make them really good at their PR and marketing jobs.
You don’t have to be the person who loves schmoozing, shaking hands, and calling for a toast at every party in order to be successful in this industry.
Contrary to popular opinion, you actually don’t need any of those things. It does, of course, help if you care about people, but listen, you can connect with them in your own way.
So, if you’re an introvert, like me, here are a few common skills or qualities you can lean into, so you can not just succeed, but stand out and really thrive in your own way.
Often, introverts can be great listeners and observers. Let’s talk about how that can do more for you than just mean you’re a good friend.
Just because introverts need time alone to recharge, doesn’t mean they are not great at connecting with people. Here’s an example from my own life. Early on in my career, I hated networking. It made me feel slimy and gross, trying to meet people for the sake of meeting people. And the fact that we were all there to try and get from something from each other, just didn’t vibe with me. But, PR is an industry where it’s important to have a network. So, I knew i needed to figure out how to do it my own way. How i could think about it differently to make powerful connections that felt really good to me. Once I started doing it my way, it became a strength instead of something I hated doing. And it all laddered up to being a great listener.
Because listening is a strength, I am really good at connecting 1:1 with people. When they’re around me, they feel heard, and because of that, I can make a genuine deep relationship with someone fairly quickly. It also allows me to create trust with new people, which is invaluable. It’s incredibly important for building new relationships with clients, trying to get colleagues to trust you or building trust with your team.
For the next quality. Introverts are also often very strategic and systematic in their work. We’re observant (which is also part of being a good listener). So we can usually see a pathway for getting things done effectively and efficiently. And also, it’s a great skill set for being able to see the big picture vision and figuring out how to bring it to life.
Anyone in PR & marketing will tell you that these skills are so, so important. Sure, the extroverted MC might be the person who is getting all of the attention at a big fundraising event or launch party. But the person who figured out when + where to host it, curated a guest list, managed all of the details, hired all of the vendors, they’re the person who brought it to life.
Sometimes introverts can get held back in their careers because they don’t speak up as often as their more extroverted coworkers. It’s common for introverts to be perceived as being more quiet or keeping to themselves. Which can be true. But, when introverts DO speak up, often they’re sharing insights or perspectives that no one else on the team has thought of. This really ties into their ability to listen and observe and be systematic and strategic.
So, if you’re an introvert and you have something that your gut just tells you is a good idea, share it and speak up. It’s very common for introverts to feel like they want to keep an idea to themselves until it’s fully developed out, they’ve put all the thinking they need behind it. I was this way for a long time in my career.
But here is an invaluable phrase to have in your toolbox that a leadership coach shared with me. Start off by sharing your idea with a phrase like, “Ok, this idea is still a work in progress, but what do you think of…”
And a phrase like that does two things. It gives you permission to share an idea that’s not perfect. You’re admitting to it. And it opens the door for you to just riff a little and share your thinking without it having to be fully developed out. And for others on your team, it invites them to collaborate. Worst case scenario, is the people around you don’t love the idea. So you can either scrap it or put some more thinking into it before you share it again. Best scenario, which happens quite often if you take this approach, is you open the door for amazing brainstorming to build on this insightful idea that no one else would have considered.
So, if you’re an introvert working in the PR, marketing or social media industries, stop thinking that it’s holding you back. You being your uniquely you self, is really an asset. Lean into it. Experiment with areas of your career that make you feel uncomfortable to see if there’s an opportunity to do it your way, instead of the way it’s always been done.
Thank you so much for listening to Episode 2 of Unique Impressions. We’re here to help PR & marketing pros create a happy, healthy and wealthy careers. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d love for you to leave us a 5-star review on iTunes.
And if you’re an introvert who found this episode insightful, I’d love for you to share with friends and colleagues who could benefit as well. You can also take a screenshot of this episode on whatever player you’re listening to on your phone and share it on Instagram stories. Tag me – Shauna Nuckles @shaunanuckles on Instagram. I’d love to connect with you and hear about your stories being an introvert in your career.
Until next time.