Finding the similarities between dating and public relations began as a fun, in-office joke among members of the People Making Good PR team.
After some serious thought and consideration, we determined that dating and PR may just be more alike than they are different. Taking a look at the trials and tribulations that occur in the world of dating might help us evaluate our everyday lives as publicists.
Here are some similarities we spotted:
1. The first date
A kickoff meeting with a new client is a lot like a first date. You dress up, you do your research, and you come equipped with questions—all with the goal of making the best first impression so the other person wants to stick around for the long haul.
2. The “Facebook stalk”
Much as we peruse the “interwebs” and major social media channels for any red flags regarding a new lover, the same sort of stealthy behavior goes into finding everything there is to know about a journalist who is perfect for covering our client.
Before we meet up for a date (or, in the PR world, send out a pitch) we’ve probably already determined whether you’re a dog/cat person, what your favorite color is, whether you’re on a special diet, what your most recent Instagram post was, etc.
If there’s dirt out there that we can use to our advantage, we’ll find it.
3. The calculated communication
Because we are excellent communicators, we apply the same calculated scrutiny to our client communications as we do to every text, email, FB message, Snapchat, and call delivered to or received from a potential Significant Other.
4. Getting that first response
There really is no difference between the giddiness you feel hearing back from a crush versus a top-tier journalist.
5. Eyeing the competition
For every single lady or man on the prowl for a new lover (read: love-ah), there is a publicist in the market for new business. We know our client is great, and we are keeping our eyes and ears peeled for other publicists trying to sniff their way in and encroach on our territory.
6. The art of multitasking
It takes a special person to juggle multiple clients: There are names to remember, numbers to memorize, and time to be scheduled and dedicated to each account. The same goes for “playing the field,” and with a career as stressful and time-consuming as public relations, this skill is a must to master.
7. Long distance? No sweat!
If there is one thing publicists must succeed at, it’s keeping the love alive, regardless of the distance. The same care and consideration that go into keeping in touch, providing transparency, and scheduling recurring meetings with our clients are applied to the relationships with our loved ones. Besides, with busy schedules and long workdays, who has time for a lover who lives in the same city, anyway?
8. The breakup
There are breakups in your personal life and breakups in your professional life. No matter how hard you work and strive to succeed with a client, sometimes a relationship just isn’t the right fit or the timing is wrong. Regardless, it will inspire and motivate you to keep moving forward.
9. Finding your soul mate
Developing a good groove with a client (or journalist) feels a lot like falling in love. The communication couldn’t be better, acquiring great media coverage feels like the end of a perfect date, and when you see their name on the caller ID, you actually feel a little flutter in your heart. If this isn’t you, don’t worry. It is possible. You will find your true love in due time.
10. Hard work and dedication
Just as all good personal relationships take time, work, and energy, so do those with clients and journalists. When signing up to be a publicist, you’re signing up to put your best foot forward—always, and at any cost.
11. Sometimes, you attract the crazy ones.
This one doesn’t really require any further explanation.
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With all the stresses of public relations, it’s necessary now and then to make light of the hardships we face daily. If you have a dating/PR similarity we’ve missed, please offer it in the comments section below.
Brittany Southwick is an account executive at People Making Good, an PR agency that specializes exclusively in publicity and media relations. Follow Brittany on Twitter @brittsouth. A version of this story originally appeared on the agency’s blog.