Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as “the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others”. All communication has emotional connotations and the potential to impact the audience’s emotions. Additionally, PR practitioners engage with a range of stakeholders, who are ultimately people. For these reasons, it’s important to shift our local approach to one where emotional intelligence is championed. Here are 5 key ways that emotional intelligence is important in PR:
Awareness of emotions in communications
When managing reputations, there are many emotionally charged situations that come up. For example, in the fast paced environment of social media, a customer can make an emotionally charged post criticising a brand. PR professionals cannot respond in the heat of temper, which may result in backlash. Instead, they must always take a step back to craft and implement a strategic response. In order to achieve this approach, it’s critical for an individual, and their team, to be emotionally intelligent.
Understanding team strengths and weaknesses
Self-awareness is a component of emotional intelligence. When a team is made up of self-aware individuals, team strengths and weaknesses become clearer. This allows a team to strategise how to leverage strengths and minimise weaknesses in their projects.
Articulating emotions for effective feedback
The ability to clearly articulate emotions benefits all interpersonal interactions. When working with stakeholders or within a team, a PR practitioner should be able to communicate clearly. Clear communication is productive as it allows all feedback to be effective. This in turn impacts business and project decisions, strategy and operations.
The world of public relations and reputation management is evolving rapidly. Emotional intelligence creates adaptable individuals, and this is a highly desirable trait. PR practitioners can also adapt to changing circumstances, briefs and stakeholder needs.
Managing stakeholder relationships
A PR team cannot be all things to all people. At the same time, PR professionals must manage relationships with stakeholders. Emotional intelligence helps teams to discern when to say no so that projects can be completed as successfully as possible. Additionally, PR professionals can connect with and understand the needs of clients and the media in a way that strives for win-win scenarios.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants. To learn more about how we can help your brand’s reputation, contact us today.