PRoust Questionnaire: Jane Jordan-Meier

Jane Jordan-Meier, principal, Jane Jordan & Associates and author of The Four Stages of Highly Effective Crisis Management

The PRoust Questionnaire provides a quick insight into a public relations practitioner’s interests and point of view, as well as their professional beliefs and values. If you are not familiar with the original 19th-century Proust Questionnaire, please see details at the end of this post.

1. What is your most striking characteristic as a PR practitioner?

Passionate, energetic and excellent strategist, excelling in high-stake situations.

2. What is your principal fault as a PR practitioner?

Expecting high standards in all situations, which can lead to frustration and stress.

3. What is your favourite occupation in PR?

Strategy, crisis and issues management.

4. Why do you work in PR?

I love the holistic approach, the diversity and the chance to make a difference in someone’s life. When a client “gets in” in a coaching session.

5. What is your idea of PR nirvana?

Is there one? Seriously, when you and a client are in sync and achieving goals.

6. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery in PR?

“Absolutely fabulous darling” image of PR. Plus “control-freak” clients.

7. What qualities do you most admire in a PR practitioner?

Authenticity. Smart. Sassiness. Style. Stand up for what you believe in.

8. What qualities do you most dislike in a PR practitioner?

The “Absolutely fabulous darling,” paid by the “column inch!” Also, those who scorn accreditation.

9. Who would you describe as a PR hero or villain?

Villain—anyone who lies.

10. What do you most value in your professional contacts?

Integrity. Mutual respect. Sharing ideas and having fun working.

11. Have you ever been influenced by a PR campaign?

Probably every day in some way, but the health benefits of olive oil is one that comes to mind.

12. Where would you most like to practise PR?

I’m living my dream as I get to work in New York City on a regular basis. I want a gig that takes me to Greg Mortensen’s “Three Cups of Tea” territory or anywhere where my experience can benefit and empower women.

13. Has a novel, film, play or other work of fiction ever influenced you as a PR practitioner?

Works by Aristotle, Plato and Shakespeare.

14. Who do you think has great public relations?

Anderson Cooper. JetBlue. Roger Federer. Audrey Hepburn. Richard Edelman. And Nelson Mandela.

15. Which real, historical or fictional person or brand would you like to give a reputation makeover?

Australian wine: we have some of the best in the world yet many see/taste YellowTail and think that’s it. The USA could do with some PR help, too.

16. Who is your favourite writer?

Peter Carey. Can’t exist without reading…I read voraciously.

17. What one thing is essential to your PR life?

My brain! Long may it stay active! Right now, my BlackBerry, as I can access the world anytime. Love my Flip camera for coaching, so please, Cisco, keep it!

18. Groucho Marx is quoted as saying he’d never join a club that would have him as a member. Which PR club, association or tribes do you belong to—and why?

Facebook: can connect with my world with ease. SF IABC: because they are a really nice bunch of people who made me very welcome when I moved across the other side of the world. We are all part of tribes, whether we like or know it.

19. Where do you most like to do your professional networking?

LinkedIn is good, Facebook is amazing, face-to-face whenever or wherever I can, for example, at conferences and events where I speak.

20. What’s the best career decision you ever made?

To “escape” from occupational therapy and become a journalist; more recently to become a qualified and accredited trainer and coach.

21. What skills and abilities do you think tomorrow’s PR leaders need?

Writing is more important than ever. The ability to see the big picture and translate that to local impact. Highly evolved interpersonal skills. Courage, emotional and social intelligence, plus a huge dose of common sense.

22. Which talent would you most like to have?

Being Zen and living in the moment all the time—life is just too short for anything else.

23. How would you like to end your PR career?

Not sure that it will ever end! Perhaps more books…but, then, if public relations is a condition we all have, and managing it is the practice, then I’ll be managing until I take my last breath!

24. How would you describe the current state of public relations?

At tipping point with the opportunity to really become the key communication profession. We live in the era of the personal brand so we all have the opportunity to make a huge difference in this crazy accelerated world we are privileged to live in.

25. What is your PR motto?

Do whatever it takes to achieve the goal, and always with integrity and grace.


Jane Jordan-Meier is the principal of Jane Jordan & Associates, a boutique media coaching and training firm based in Northern California. A very proud Australian, Jane is a former journalist, turned PR consultant, turned crisis communication specialist. She works with senior management to train, test and validate crisis communication plans, media spokespeople and the role of front-line staff. Her book on crisis media management in the digital age was published in March 2011. A sought-after public speaker, Jane can be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Jane invites you to connect by email or comment here.


The PRoust Questionnaire was originally designed to reveal one’s personality. Its name and popularity as a form of interview has roots in the responses given by the French writer, Marcel Proust. His first set of responses came at the end of the nineteenth century, when he was still in his teens (from an English-language “confession album”).

For PR Conversations we have adapted this original idea with questions that offer a public relations’ perspective. It is fun to compare and contrast responses as the series grows. (See below.)

If you would like to be invited to complete our PRoust Questionnaire for posting on PR Conversations, please visit our Crowdsourcing suggestion form.

Earlier PRoust Questionnaire respondents:

Nelly Benova

Peter V Stanton

Mat Wilcox

Anne Gregory

Markus Pirchner

Heather Yaxley

Judy Gombita

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