Five brightly colored martinis on a white background

Today’s Get Stuff Done Tuesday tip is a myth-buster. Why? For the longest time I thought I was the only introvert working in PR. Then I met a whole bunch of smart people who taught me otherwise.

When I taught PR writing to undergrads, one of the first things I asked them was how they decided to go into communications. Inevitably, there would be at least a few young women who cited Sex and the City’s Samantha as their motivation. They were in it to be glamorous.

While most PR jobs offer you the chance to attend swanky events at least once in a while, there’s the part that no one really talks about. You are usually the person who has to plan the swanky event. So while everyone else is enjoying the wine and hors d’oeuvres, you’ll be crawling around in your cocktail dress underneath a dusty stage looking for an audio cable. Or schlepping ice buckets from the kitchen. Or triaging the parking lot because your volunteers didn’t show.

At least 99.5% of event planning is not at all glamorous, and no one ever sees it. (That’s a sign of an event done right, by the way–you have no idea who’s behind it, but it just flows. More on this in a later post.) PR is not about the glamor. And if you’re making anyone look glamorous, it’s your boss, or your client.

Introverts make the best PR people because we don’t WANT the spotlight. We’re happy pulling strings behind the scenes to cast it on someone else. And we like to spend time alone, writing, which is still the most important skill in our profession. Take heart introverts–you are not alone.

p.s. If you see me at an event, please don’t mistake my shyness for stuck-up-edness. Half the people who signed my high school yearbook wrote, “to a shy, quiet girl” and the other half wrote “to a wild, crazy girl”–which do you think got to know the real me?