Is there a PR personality?

Posted on: April 23, 2010

Is there a specific “PR personality”? I don’t think there is and the issue is debated in the latest PR Moment  in Are you a natural at PR? It also features research from Bournemouth University BA Public Relations student, Shannon Bailey.


2 Responses to "Is there a PR personality?"

Not personality, exactly, but certainly there is some truth in the general idea that public relations workers reveal what we might term family resemblances. My particular take on this is that the jobs we do are intimately connected with the types of people we become, an aspect of social reproduction, really. In an occupation like PR where the person is part of the service, the ability to enact a particular (and fairly narrow) range of dispositions is not even especially surprising. So, a PR personality, probably not – but a recognisable (if ill-defined, flexible, relational) culture and economy of the occupation, yes, I’d eat my hat if there isn’t, and my feeling is that to some observers the effects of this might look similar – PR ‘types’ do exist, but my money is firmly on social learning, rather than any natural pre-disposition (although depending on your theory of personality, that might be true there I guess?). I guess as I’m keeping my research powder dry and not doing any conference papers this summer, this will have to do for now – but I have plenty more where this came from. Mind you, given the current rate of production, don’t hold your breath 🙂

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Tom Watson

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