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  • Writer's pictureFifth Street

Is Your Personality PR Worthy?

Personality is something undefinable and unique to each person. In public relations, you need to be good with people, calm in tense situations and go with the flow when things don't go your way. Can you possess all of the ideal traits of a successful PR professional? According to Live Science, psychologists have mostly given up on trying to divide humanity neatly into types. Instead, they focus on personality traits. The most widely used system of traits is called the Five-Factor Model. This system includes five broad traits that can be remembered with the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Each of the significant traits from the Big Five can be divided into categories to give a more fine-grained analysis of someone's personality. Here are what these different traits entail: Openness: If you are high in openness, you enjoy adventure and new things. If you’re low in openness you are just the opposite and tend to avoid the unknown. Conscientiousness: You are probably high in conscientiousness if you are organized and have a strong sense of duty. While if you are low in this trait, you're probably more spontaneous and freewheeling. In the communications field, it's essential to be open to new things and expect the unexpected. High openness and high conscientiousness seem to be two critical traits of public relations. Extraversion: If you're an extravert, you tend to get your energy from being with others while being an introvert means you get your energy from being alone or in smaller groups. I think extroverts and introverts can both work well in public relations, but it's more likely for someone with high extroversion to work in a career with a lot of people interaction. Agreeableness: If you're warm and kind, you are probably highly agreeable. The more agreeable you are, the more likely you are to come off as trusting, helpful and compassionate. Disagreeable people are cold and suspicious of others, and they're less likely to cooperate. Agreeableness is vital in any career when you're expected to work with a team. This could be a good or bad trait, depending on the job you choose. Neuroticism: Neuroticism is also sometimes called emotional stability. If you score high on neuroticism, you probably experience emotional instability and negative emotions. It would be best if you were emotionally stable in general. If you are not happy emotionally, you won't be happy in any career you choose, so make sure this is a low trait. I firmly believe you can do anything you put your mind to and I think your career is no exception to that. With so many different types of PR from consumer to corporate, campaigning to non-profit, there is a range of specifications that accommodate most personalities. But if you're quickly disheartened by rejection or lack the ambition to find several ways of solving problems, PR may not be for you. Morgan Hale is a junior from Middletown, Indiana, majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. Morgan is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.


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