Submitted by Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is from my fellow PR pro, Teri Hansen, APR, of Priority Marketing. She probably doesn’t recall this conversation, but it has been burned into my memory. About twenty years ago, Teri approached me after an FPRA chapter meeting. I was surprised when Teri said I had been tapped to serve as the Chapter President. What, me? I was in my twenties and felt waaaaay too young and inexperienced to take on such an important role. When I expressed this to Teri, she said something I will never forget. “Fake it until you make it,” she said. “Act like you know what you are doing, and pretty soon, you will.”

I’ve always treasured that advice, so I’m passing it along to you. Present yourself with confidence and you’ll find your colleagues believe that you really do have what it takes. Act poised and professional, and voila, you are! Don’t let others see your uncertainty. Take on that stretch assignment and then go burn the midnight oil to figure out how to get it accomplished.

The thing about faking it is that pretty soon you aren’t faking it at all. Your positive thinking and can-do attitude will eventually turn you into a genuinely confident and poised PR professional! I’m not advocating arrogance, or encouraging you to think you are Superwoman. Be realistic, but aim high! Believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, and others will believe it too.

Now you know my secret. After 25+ years experience in public relations, sometimes I still second guess myself and occasionally question my abilities, but I never let them see me sweat, and neither should you!

Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC, is a marketing consultant and co-owner of Briggs & Rogers, a public relations and advertising firm based in Fort Myers, Florida. The firm specializes in media relations, marketing communications, branding, and issues management.

Mary is a certified public relations consultant, co-chairs the Southwest Florida chapter’s Credentialing Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the FPRA State Board of Directors. Mary was named the 2006 Public Relations Professional of the Year by the Southwest Florida chapter of FPRA and has received numerous awards for her marketing and public relations programs.