PR Pros, Turn Down the Personality

I’m going to need you PR people to tone down the personality just a tad

As I recently explored birth order and how being the baby of

February 7, 2010 - Miami, FL. - A young Indianapolis Colts fan sits dejectedly in the stands after the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

the family can help you be a stellar PR pro, I am eager to take this discussion a step further. I am the last (allow me to repeat, the last) person to not applaud personality. Look at me…I’m a pageant queen. Please.

But the wheels in my head have been turning lately after a well-known PR professional who shall remain unnamed piped up with an opinion where (in my opinion) he shouldn’t have.

I’ve said it before on PRBC: the PR profession as a whole is a plethora of cases straight from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. We are a fun bunch, indeed. But here’s my qualm with those of us who are so incessant on me, me and more me (call me a hypocrite)…

Don’t get me wrong. Personal branding is something I wholeheartedly believe in. Again, I refer you to my pageant queen-dom. Making yourself stand out in this competitive industry can be a plus when done with taste and tact. Blogging is in fact celebrated at my place of employment – Individuality and freedom of speech rock.

However, when you, you, you overshadows that wonderful client that signs your paycheck, you have a problem my friend.

If I say your name to someone entirely removed from the PR industry and they don’t know who you are, but they do know that awesome client you have because they just read about their new services in the New York Times = success!

If I say your name and the same person winces and say’s: “Oh that guy? He’s insanely annoying. Always voicing his opinion and poking his nose in other people’s business. What does he do for a job? Something like PR or whatever?” = not success…

Obviously these are hasty examples, but hopefully you get my point.

Here I am, standing on Jeff Esposito’s soapbox declaring my opinion telling you to not do the same, in more or less words. Ha! What’s your take on this situation? Not so much about personal branding, but about when one person overpowers the industry’s perception of his or her client, place of work, etc. I’m interested in hearing your opinion.

Kate OttavioThis post was written by Kate Ottavio a PR professional working in Manhattan. You can find her at

2 Responses to PR Pros, Turn Down the Personality
  1. Jamie Bull
    September 8, 2010 | 8:34 pm

    I could make a list a mile long of the PR pros that make me physically cringe when I hear their names…

    This post could be about any single one of them.

  2. Kate Ottavio
    September 8, 2010 | 8:46 pm

    Ha! Thanks very much, Jamie.