PR professionals are strategic thinkers, excellent communicators, and they’re great at what they do. But their ability to shine in their career is often misunderstood when it comes to dating. If you have a date lined up with a woman who works in PR, make sure you read this first.
1. She constantly compares your relationship to client scenarios. PR girls live and die by their work. While the day-to-day of a PR professional is unstructured, the onboarding of a new client is extremely structured. It’s our job to take someone’s entire life story and make it “media friendly.” Don’t be surprised if she starts talking about the onboarding phase of your new relationship or about “vision setting” and growth objectives during the first date. It’s our job to create an end state and reverse engineer it through strategic PR planning. So, we start thinking that way about everything else in our lives—including new relationships.
2. She is aggressive. Publicists don’t land clients in national media outlets by sitting quietly. Our ability to fight for the client and get people to see our clients in a fresh way is what makes us good at what we do. Don’t be surprised if the PR girl you’re dating has a type A, proactive approach to your dating plans. It’s not that you can’t make the plans on your own, it’s just that she has a bigger plan in mind—and she will make it happen.
3. She expects a response instantly. PR girls are constantly on their phones. Even when we’re on vacation, we are always working. We are superior multitaskers. We can have 10 different conversations at any given time, and we expect you to be able to do the same.
4. She likes when you speak in sound bites. PR girls are well versed in media and train their clients to speak in sound bites as well. If she asks you a question and your response is longer than two minutes, she is critiquing your response in her head and figuring out how to shorten it. Brevity is key with women in PR.
5. She is an excellent writer. She can write novels back to your texts. In order to write strong pitches to editors, she has to have excellent communication and grammatical skills. She expects the same of you. If you write “your” instead of “you’re” in a text, she will call you out on it. She just can’t help it.
6. She starts formulating pitch angles when breaking news comes out. If you two are at dinner and a breaking news story comes out, expect her to drop everything. The way she responds to news is unlike anything you have ever seen. For example, if there is breaking news of a train crash because a train conductor has sleep apnea, you may say, “That is so terrible.” She will say, “My client is a sleep apnea specialist and needs to be putting out tips on how to detect the early signs of sleep apnea to prevent future crashes.” While you passively read the news, she is actively thinking about how to insert her client into the story.
7. She is a better lawyer than you are (even though she didn’t go to law school). PR professionals are skilled negotiators. Often, you may wonder if you are dating a lawyer instead of a publicist. PR people are trained in crisis communications, and their goal is to get the media to see a story from all sides. If you are in an argument with her, she will have a quick rebuttal with three to five talking points to back up her assertion.
8. She interviews you. First dates with a woman who works in PR can feel like forced interrogations. PR professionals are used to interviewing clients to extract the key nuggets that differentiate them from their competitors. They will do the same with you. They will keep digging until they find something they can use as a hook, and then they will dig some more. This is how their brain works—it’s not personal.
9. She expects you to be excited when her clients are in the news. Expect to receive random screenshots and links of her clients in the media throughout the day. With article titles like “Top 10 Ways to Get a Bright White Smile” or “How to Improve Performance,” you will often have no clue what any of this means or why you are being sent random links. This is her way of connecting and sharing her work with you.
10. She is quick to connect with you on social media. PR and social media go hand-in-hand. When we aren’t writing, we’re crafting our clients’ brand identities on social media platforms. We connect with people digitally the same way we drink water—it’s second nature. Expect a PR girl to add you on Facebook or follow you on Instagram before you even go on a date. She wants to do background research and analyze your digital footprint. And she expects you to do the same.
11. She thinks about photos more than most people. PR girls have strong social media skills. We spend a lot of time figuring out ways to make segments and pitches more visually appealing to producers and editors, so expect us to do the same with you. Don’t be surprised if your PR girl switches tables at the restaurant to a more “Instagram friendly” location. And don’t even think about eating your appetizer until she has photographed it for her Insta story.
12. She seeks clarification. Don’t be surprised if she asks, “So, where is this going?” PR girls are used to hearing this from clients every day. “Where is this going?” “How will this help my business?” “How does this take us from point A to point B?” We constantly have to reassert our position and show our value. Because we are so used to this line of questioning from clients, PR girls sometimes let this (accidentally) spill over into relationships. They want to know your vision, plan, and KPI’s before dessert.
13. She knows everyone. Publicists are very well connected. It’s the nature of the job. Don’t be intimidated if you take her out and five people walk up to her to give her a hug. Wherever you go, she will always know more people.
14. She is constantly plotting. PR is a difficult business. After you get a client a press placement, they want to know when the next one is coming. Nothing is ever good enough. Don’t be surprised if this mentality spills over into your relationship. We constantly have to outdo ourselves and prove our worth to clients, and we like when men do the same for us.
15. Her idea of time is warped. In “TV” time, if you don’t respond to a producer within five minutes, they have already booked a different guest for the segment. Similarly, don’t be surprised if the PR girl you’re dating has already moved on after five minutes. Her idea of five minutes and your idea of five minutes are not the same thing.
16. She is slightly demanding. PR girls know what they want and will pull out all the stops to get it. This is what makes them so successful in their career. PR girls do not have trouble voicing their opinions. Do not mistake her being demanding as her being high maintenance.
17. She is used to being wined and dined—but not by who you think. If you think you will surprise a PR girl by taking her to the latest, hottest restaurant in town, think again. Chances are she was probably retained to do the media dinner and invite influencers to it long before you even knew about it. Don’t be upset if she trumps all of your plans.
18. She likes planning in advance. Publicists are often asked to present 12-month timelines to clients. We think in terms of monthly campaign cycles and client deliverables. We work better with structure and a plan. We expect the men we date to have a plan so we can see where things are headed. It’s not that we want to marry you within two dates, it’s just that if we don’t have a plan, we feel like a fish out of water.
19. She finds it hard to relax. PR people are constantly analyzing and overanalyzing large amounts of information and figuring out how to condense it. Even on weekends, she checks her PR Facebook groups to see if editors are looking for sources to meet a last minute deadline. Don’t take offense if she’s always “on.” She can’t help it. It’s part of the job.
20. She thinks of ways to enhance your image. If you are dating a woman in PR, don’t be upset if she appears overly critical. PR women are constantly on the lookout to make their clients’ images better, and it often spills over into their relationships. If you connect with her on LinkedIn, don’t be surprised when she gives you the numbers of five photographers who can take a better headshot for you. If she represents a cosmetic dentist and posts smile makeover photos all day on Instagram, don’t be shocked if she starts staring at your teeth during dinner and suddenly weaves Invisalign into the conversation. PR women are solution oriented—they might even propose solutions to issues you never even knew you had.
21. She is knowledgeable about a lot of information in several different fields. As publicists, it’s our job to be experts in our clients’ industries. Don’t be surprised if she is extremely knowledgeable about random information that has nothing to do with PR. For example, that orange juice you drink every morning? Expect her to go off on a tirade if she represents a doctor who constantly talks about the sugar content in orange juice and why coconut water is a better choice. The deodorant you use? How could you not know about the 50 ingredients that aren’t organic and could be killing you? Your toothpaste? Don’t you know that oil pulling is the latest trend? While these may seem like criticisms, understand that she is passionate about her work. She is just looking out for your best interests—even though it may not feel like that. Also, don’t be surprised if products go missing around the house. She is extremely brand loyal. If she represents the competitor of your shampoo, it will be in the trash. It’s not personal, it’s just the SWOT analysis. Using a brand from her competitor is the equivalent of stabbing her.
Kris Ruby is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, a Public Relations and Social Media Agency. Kris Ruby is a frequent on air TV commentator and speaks on social media, tech trends and crisis communications. For more information, visit www.rubymediagroup.com or www.krisruby.com