Why PR people are weird


“I just can’t see people paying me that much.”

That was the response I got from a coaching client when I told her that the results she was getting typically warranted a rate twice what she was charging.

The conversation that ensued was insightful, and it led in part to an announcement I’m making later in this post.

On one hand, her reaction was . . . well . . . weird. She knew other people or firms charging that much, and knew that plenty of clients were paying that much. She wasn’t a newbie – she had a proven track record of success on her own, even after she’d excelled at significant in-house roles earlier in her career.

But on the other hand, that reaction is entirely typical of PR pros, whether they work for clients or one organization. And it’s not always about money. I often hear a similar lament about not being trusted or respected enough.

There are a few reasons for this:

-PR tends to attract highly empathetic people who don’t like the feeling of being at odds with someone else, even if we know we’re on the right track.

-People in other fields, especially executives, tend to assume that anyone can do PR, that there’s no particular knowledge base or expertise involved. It’s just writing and talking, right? And being “good with people . . .”

-We in PR hear often about the challenges in showing our financial impact, and don’t remember that almost every other discipline (except maybe straight sales) has much the same challenge.

But the biggest reason of all, that may be uniquely prevalent among PR people, is that we don’t carry ourselves in a way that warrants the respect we deserve.

We’re wired to shine the spotlight on others, so when it comes to asking for what we want, setting boundaries, and pursuing our own agenda, we shrink back and end up as inadvertent order-takers.

This problem starts with us, not with other people. And that’s super-good news and empowering! Because we are in control of us, not other people. We can change.

That’s what I worked through with the coaching client I mentioned earlier.

She changed the way she thought about herself. And that changed the way she acted. And that changed the way her clients viewed her.

And when it came time for her annual review with her largest client, she confidently told them her new rate . . . and they happily agreed to it 🙂

I want more PR people to experience that transformation from order-taker to respected expert. More people than I could serve with one-on-one coaching. More people than could afford the premium price for that service.

So I’ve created a brand-new program that bottles the training and direction that so far has only been available to a select few.

The Respected Expert Intensive starts next week and runs through March.

P.S. If this post resonates with you but you’re thinking “I don’t have time for one more thing right now,” that’s the first mind virus you’ve got to eradicate. Think about it – you’re actually too busy to address the primary issue that’s holding you back from greater success and control of your work life? Whether you join this program or pursue respect some other way, do something different. Don’t take the “busy” cop-out. That’s a big reason you’re stuck in this position in the first place.

This article was originally published on Feb 27, 2019.