Huffington Post recently published an article exploring the “11 Things Every Type A Person Wants You to Know,” defending all of the “uptight” traits that come along with the personality. While I certainly identify with some of these traits, I’ve never actually considered myself to be type A. To tell you the truth, I’m probably far from it. Sure, I’ve been known to arrive early to everything, constantly make to-do lists and can’t stand waiting in long lines (how I survived Atlanta traffic for nearly four years, I’ll never know), but I’ve also been known to be disorganized (I once put my car keys in the fridge), have a tendency to be messy and have no problem being able to relax. Naturally, this article got me thinking: when it comes to public relations, is one personality really better than the other?
It seems that PR professionals are consistently pegged as type A personalities, and it makes sense as to why. PR professionals are constantly up against deadlines, always chasing after the next big thing and are diligently vigilant about anything that has to do with their clients or industry. In fact, type A personalities are likely to thrive in this type of environment where sitting around and waiting is never an option. Traditionally known as go-getters, you can count on these guys to be highly organized and ready to react immediately to any situation, which is particularly vital in crisis communications.
But type B personalities (and introverts!) have their place in the public relations world, too. In a world where anything can happen and freak-outs are common, there remains a special spot for those who can bring an emotionally evenhanded approach to situations. When standing next to the highly prevalent type A, a type B worker may come across as uninterested or lazy, but it’s far from the truth. According to an older article in Huffington Post, type B workers are big picture thinkers. What they lack in detail-orientation they make up for in a coherent view of the road ahead. They don’t get caught up in the mini urgencies that arise and can instead keep an eye on what is really important. This can be an extremely vital quality in an industry where fire drills are known to happen quite often.
When it comes down to it, neither personality is better than the other for our industry. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, and both can survive and even thrive in public relations. What’s even more fascinating is the ability for these personalities to coexist in the PR world, balancing each other out to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
So, we want to know: are you type A or type B?
Carolyn Edwards is a Senior Account Executive at Lovell Communications. Connect with Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or @carolyn_wahl.
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