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Lone wolf walks rough road in public relations world

This is a guest post by Sanra Upeslacis who is Manager, Talent Retention and Acquisition, NATIONAL Public Relations, her part articles are here.

It takes courage and confidence to stand up for your ideas when others think you are wrong.  But “going it alone” on a regular basis in public relations won’t improve your chances of career advancement.

Loners can often arrive at their own conclusions and have no problem making decisions – in this way they are similar to some leaders.  However, effective leaders take the time to listen to the input of others, genuinely care about what others bring to the discussion, and have the ability to influence the opinions and beliefs of others.  Loners can only lead themselves, as they are primarily motivated by self-interest and often don’t take the time and effort to value the contribution of others.

In public relations, decisions need to be made quickly and frequently on a daily basis.  It’s unrealistic to think that one person alone can effectively respond to all kinds of communication problems at the blink of an eye.  As a recruiter, I am always looking for people with solid public relations skills, as well as, individuals with the potential to work well in teams.

Teamwork is critical in communications.  When several people consider the same problem together, they each bring a unique perspective and potential solution.  Discussion of the various options and approaches can lead to innovative thinking, resulting in a better decision on how to solve the problem.

Teamwork also develops the skills and confidence of all team members.  Inexperienced staff gain exposure to the approach and strategic vision of more senior members.  More experienced individuals have an opportunity to hear fresh, new ideas they may not have considered.  Frequent interaction among team members builds rapport and trust, enhances learning, inspires confidence and reduces stress because the responsibility and ownership for decision-making is shared.

Not every loner fails in public relations. Good managers can help those with a tendency to withhold information open up, learn how to share credit for their successes and respect others’ views.  Not all team players can easily make conversation or open up to others, but public relations professionals should be self-confident enough to cope with all kinds of personalities on their team, and feel they can freely state their views.

The best public relations programs begin with a brainstorming session involving the input of several people, often from different practice groups, backgrounds and life experiences.  There’s nothing like a shared cause to foster a sense of belonging, motivate people to do their best work, and allow a team to have fun together.

It’s lonely on your own!  To improve your chances of succeeding in public relations, move away from your desk and spend some time with your colleagues.  Together, you will rise.  Alone, eventually you may fall.

Sandra Upeslacis is the Manager of Talent Retention and Acquisition at NATIONAL Public Relations, Canada’s largest public relations firm with more than 325 employees in nine offices across Canada, in London and New York. . Email,