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PR or therapy?

I was having one of those moments where I think about what I would like to do for a living if I wasn’t a PR consultant. Does anybody else have a second career they like to think they would’ve been good at? Obviously, I knew the answer straight away (this is not the first time I had thought about it.) So, I knew without any doubt that if I were going to start another career, I would have like to be a counsellor or therapist of some sort.

At first, I thought how odd that that would be my career in a sliding doors style parallel universe. PR and therapy are poles apart but the more I thought about it the more I realised that my passion for both have more in common than they might first appear. So, I thought I would list what being in PR has in common with being a therapist.

  • You need to be a good listener

Listening is a key skill in both roles. A good therapist will have done listening skills as part of their training and in PR listening means I can find out what the hidden stories are.

  • Remember the details

In therapy remembering the details show the person you are listening and help the therapist support the client. In PR they help me find the story and can make the difference between a story that’s a hit or isn’t.

  • A passion for people and finding out what makes them tick

One of my favourite bits of my job is hearing people’s stories. Like a therapist and their client’s stories some come from a place of sadness, some joy, and others from sheer frustration.

  • A burning desire to help

Therapists obviously want to help people, it’s at the core of everything they do. As a PR it is also a massive driver for me. It’s one of the reasons I went self-employed, as I wanted to help small businesses and charities.

  • Helping people feel heard

A therapist might be the only person that somebody fully opens up to and whilst I wouldn’t say that is the same for PR, I would say they are similar in that they both help give people a voice and feel seen and heard.

If you weren’t doing the job, you do now, what would you be doing and do they have any similarities?

Rebecca Slater is a PR Consultant with more than 20 years public relations experience. She is based in Staffordshire but provides support to businesses all over the country.

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