Over the past eight years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing and talented group of virtual (freelance) PR consultants. They aren’t full time employees, but rather PR pro’s that choose to work with me and my growing roster of clients, while continuing to support their own client needs.
What I’ve learned over time, is that working in a virtual environment is not for everyone. It takes a certain skill set and personality to make it work. So I’ve compiled a brief list of traits that (in my experience) I think PR folks should possess if they want a successful career as a freelance PR consultant. This list may also be helpful for those looking to bring someone on board to help balance their work load or grow their PR consulting practice.
- Independent Workers – Works very well in an independent setting. In other words, knows what needs to be done and will do whatever it takes to complete the task at hand – without being asked to do it.
- Self-motivated – Does not need a ‘boss’ to coach, guide or encourage them. These self-starters are go-getters who motivate themselves to get the job done.
- Passionate – These PR folks love what they do and wake up each and every day ready to hit the ground running. They embrace life and are driven by their own passion for a successful career.
- Proactive – Will not wait for media, analysts, clients or anyone else to call or email them back. They proactively reach out to the right people to get the job done, on time and within budget.
- Outgoing – Shyness is not an option for this set. Whether in a crowd or on a call, the outgoing PR consultant can easily engage in conversation or lead a discussion. They will gladly pick up the phone and call a member of the media that they don’t know, have never met or never spoken to.
- Excellent Communicators – Unfortunately, not all PR folks are good communicators. We may work in a communications role, but not all of us remember to keep the lines of communications open when it comes to interacting with colleagues, providing feedback or keeping others in the loop of important updates.
- Story Tellers – Can identify a strong story angle when they see it. While this is a trait that every PR person should have, it is even more important when working as an independent consultant.
- Deadline Driven – Can easily prioritize all tasks on hand. Since freelance PR consultants work on a few different client accounts at any one time, the ability to prioritize is key, especially when trying to meet deadlines across a diverse client base.
- Multi-taskers – Juggling program execution across several clients is a breeze. This includes multi-tasking and easily switching their mindset from one client to another at a moment’s notice.
Do you agree with my list? What have I missed? Would love to hear your thoughts!