Coming from him, it was more than a cliché, so I tried to adopt that mindset. But, let’s face it, the agency life doesn’t exactly promote a calm, Zen-like attitude. According to one study, PR is the seventh most stressful occupation of the year.
Stories of hellish deadlines, ridiculous expectations, and crazy hours are legion. But is public relations really more stressful than other “non-combat” occupations? Or do we just love to think so? After all, it’s not life and death.
Of course, the profession offers some stress triggers that may be unique to the practice of PR, or at least more significant than other service professions.
We serve many masters. Any client service business has special demands, but foot soldiers on the front lines of media relations have to answer to clients, direct supervisor(s), and, very frequently, members of the press. The goals of these three are often in conflict, yet we need to please all of them to be successful.
We trade control for credibility. The very magic of earned coverage is that it’s not within our control. The dynamic media environment in which we work only increases the risk—and the stress—of an unpredictable outcome.