The 7 Toxic Habits of PR Practitioners

Everyone has their flaws. Just like mechanics may be known for their oil manicures, and doctors for their patronizing addiction to medical jargon, a career in public relations is rumored to produce a few bad habits as well…



1. We suffer from an iPhone addiction. It was bad enough when texting on a date became a common practice. Now the leading theory is that “if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen.” And I’m not one to speak–my eyes are typically glued to the glowing screen for approximately 80% of an average day. However, when I do muster up the determination to set my phone aside, I rediscover the joys of an unplugged life. I suggest you schedule this weekend’s tweets and give it a try.

2. We’re always thinking of what’s next. That’s one of the reasons that we are good at what we do! But, despite the workplace advantage of this bad habit, you miss out on a lot if you’re never truly in the moment. Just as learning how to think one step ahead paid off in your career, learning how to be wholly present will aid in your wellbeing.

3. We view sleep as a weakness. We often cast aside this human necessity as a luxury (especially as over-involved undergrads). Yet, it is proven time and again that getting the right amount of sleep every night improves overall health and productivity.

4. We reflexively over analyze. Here is another habit that lends to workplace success, but does not translate well into our personal lives. Over-thinking everyday situations brings unnecessary stress and anxiety. We can all benefit from a healthy dose of simplicity when our work is done.

5.  We forget how important it is to put ourselves (or, our own branding) first. You work everyday to improve the brand and positioning of your clients, which can sometimes cause you to neglect your personal brand. Nothing is a bigger indicator of your abilities than the way that you manage your own brand. Allow me to borrow the tired relationship cliché: you can’t love another until you love yourself.

6. We get comfortable. Having confidence in your abilities is a great professional attribute. On the contrary, being comfortable with your accomplishments can lead to your downfall. In this fast-paced industry, there is always more to learn. There will always be someone doing more than you! Challenge yourself to stay hot on their heels.

7. We are tempted to draw a line between our professional and personal lives. Take, for example, the philosophy of having a “personal” and a “professional” Twitter profile; it’s as if we strive to contract a multiple personality disorder. There are drawbacks to being both too professional and too lax. Everyone can learn how to express their true selves in a professional manner. Blending the two components comes naturally with practice–but separating them completely is both unnatural and uncomfortable.

Which of these bad habits are you fighting off? Has your passion for PR caused you to pick up any others?


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