Tag: public relations stress

PR Earns Top Billing for Stress

Forbes just released the top most stressful jobs for 2013. Here they are with their median salaries:

  1. Enlisted military personnel $46,000
  2. Military general 196,000
  3. Firefighter 42,000
  4. Commercial airline pilot 92,000
  5. Public relations executive 58,000
  6. Senior corporate executive 101,000
  7. Newspaper reporter 36,000
  8. Taxi driver 22,000
  9. Photojournalist 29,000
  10. Police officer 55,000

Here is the link with the entire list, if you don’t believe me: http://onforb.es/WitV0X

Susan Adams of Forbes says this about PR executives:

Other jobs on the most stressful list that may seem surprising: public relations executive and senior corporate executive. Though many people may picture PR execs wining and dining and taking lunch with friends and connections around town, in fact they face almost constant rejection from people like me. I am subject to such an onslaught of PR email, I don’t even reply to most of the notes I get. I’m sure that is discouraging and stressful to anyone who approaches me. Lee also points out that PR clients are never satisfied. If the PR executive succeeds in convincing Forbes.com to cover something, the client will most likely say great, but what about The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.

No wonder I work out every morning before I come to work – and sometimes after as well. This lady has it right. But that’s just one ice cube in the tray. There are clients who are never satisfied, constantly throwing their retainer in your face (which is much lower than it should be), the calls in the evening and weekends, the clients who sign contracts and then go back on their word, the late-paying client who makes you sweat payroll, the reporters who never return emails or phone calls who don’t realize how much money you might be losing on the deal, the prospective client who says you’re hired and you never hear from again – and the list goes on.

But despite all that, I still get a high when I land a new piece of business. I am on a roll when I am developing a strategic plan that gets the client excited, then making it happen. I get a rush when I come up with a new creative twist that makes the client smile. I love when reporters email or call and say they want that interview. I am awed by numbers spiking with social media. And I melt when someone gives me a nice compliment. Nice job, Sandy. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning, and what I love about public relations.

It’s the price of going into business for yourself, of trying to survive the HR issues, payroll, healthcare costs, the bottom line every month and the constant worrying about yearly growth or loss. Sometimes I think I’d like to pack it in and veg. And I’ve come close. My husband is a dream putting up with my 3:00 am “what the hell am I going to do” conversations.

My parents wanted me to become a teacher. They said it was a “solid profession” — whatever that meant. Yuk. I tried that honorable profession, but it wasn’t me.

So with all the stress, the ups and the downs, I love being a public relations executive. Even with the low pay and sometimes no pay. There are lots of lows, but boy, how one high really can change the complexion on everything. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.