The PR Lifestyle

If you saw this last week, CNBC named PR Executive as the #2 most stressful job in America in the America’s Most Stressful Jobs 2011. I was surprised to see that it was the #2 job on the list. Some of the rest of the 10 in the list included communication related professions like photojournalist, newscaster, and advertising account executive.

Here’s what the list said as to why PR made the #2 spot:

Stress score: 47.60
Average annual salary: $101,850
Hours per day: 9

Public relations executives are “completely at the mercy of their clients and buyers,” says Tony Lee, noting that their success or failure depends on the actions and decisions of clients, creating a stressful situation because their performance is in many ways out of their hands.

They also bear the burden of being connected constantly to social media while also managing small details of several campaigns at once.

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Though I’m just a PR student, I can already see this. Having worked with clients who aren’t very responsible or responsive  is pretty awful, having situations happen that are out of your control, having to manage several social media accounts and campaigns and already being very constantly connected to social media.

I’m not complaining though. There’s not anything else I would rather do or be doing besides PR. I love that there is constantly something to do or something to work on! I also love that every day is not the same and there is something new to do every day!

I disagree that PR is just 9 hours a day. It seems like a lot more than that. It seems like our lifestyle. We chose it and we chose to do this. We chose to be so involved and we chose to be so connected.

The reason I think PR is really a lifestyle is because, mostly, it seem that if you work in PR you have to keep up your image yourself. It’s not just about managing a brand or company’s image, it’s about managing your own image as well. It is a lifestyle.

More thoughts:

What’s the most stressful part about PR? Lauren Hernandez says, “the uncertainty of last-minute projects. But, you get it done. Love the adrenaline.”





4 thoughts on “The PR Lifestyle

  1. As much as I would like to brag about being in a profession that has this status, it simply isn’t true. To say that PR pros work in a higher stress environment than people like fire fighters and underground coal miners would be pure hubris. The one time I went into a coal mine – for a photoshoot involving underground equipment – I almost panicked (and I am not claustrophobic).

    Compared to other white collar careers, PR can be very stressful, but even then I would probably place mechanical engineers (where a single error can cause a structural defect that could kill) and salespeople ahead of us – with salespeople taking the lead. I once had a regional sales manager of industrial equipment (who weighed in around 280 and looked like he was tougher than carbon steel) break down crying in front of me because he knew that losing even one account meant he no longer had a job.

    As far as the stressors of PR – PR pros are also at the mercy of media, which is far more stressful than client relations and social media responsibilities. I have actually started shaking at trade shows hoping that editors would show up to the interviews I’ve lined up – and had to explain many times to clients that just because we submitted a news release or feature article, there is no guarantee the publication will actually publish it.

    1. Hi Mike!

      I was wondering about other positions and everything. Maybe this was just a corporate setting most stressful jobs list. Firefighters, social workers, policemen, miners and more definitely have a hard time and are put in some very stressful situations as well.

      I agree that PR pros are at the mercy of the media and there are some things that we just can’t control.

      Thanks for commenting and reading!

      -Lauren

  2. As much as I would like to brag about being in a profession that has this status, it simply isn’t true. To say that PR pros work in a higher stress environment than people like fire fighters and underground coal miners would be pure hubris. The one time I went into a coal mine – for a photoshoot involving underground equipment – I almost panicked (and I am not claustrophobic).
    Compared to other white collar careers, PR can be very stressful, but even then I would probably place mechanical engineers (where a single error can cause a structural defect that could kill) and salespeople ahead of us – with salespeople taking the lead. I once had a regional sales manager of industrial equipment (who weighed in around 280 and looked like he was tougher than carbon steel) break down crying in front of me because he knew that losing even one account meant he no longer had a job.
    As far as the stressors of PR – PR pros are also at the mercy of media, which is far more stressful than client relations and social media responsibilities. I have actually started shaking at trade shows hoping that editors would show up to the interviews I’ve lined up – and had to explain many times to clients that just because we submitted a news release or feature article, there is no guarantee the publication will actually publish it.

    1. Hi Mike!
      I was wondering about other positions and everything. Maybe this was just a corporate setting most stressful jobs list. Firefighters, social workers, policemen, miners and more definitely have a hard time and are put in some very stressful situations as well.
      I agree that PR pros are at the mercy of the media and there are some things that we just can’t control.
      Thanks for commenting and reading!
      -Lauren

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