A communication professional’s airing of grievances

The fictional holiday Festivus is soon approaching, which means it’s time to put up the pole and get it all out.

Communicators don’t always just get to complain about the jobs we do day in and day out. Because (spoiler alert) we’re not spin doctors.

In honor of the upcoming, “Seinfeld”-ian holiday of Festivus (if you don’t know about Festivus, start here), maybe it’s time for an airing of grievances about being communications professionals.

What sucks about being a communications professional?

Here are a few items from my list.

Being ridiculed for social media addiction

My social media problem doesn’t bother me that much. Why wouldn’t someone want to start and end their day by scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, checking Instagram one more time, and maybe just a quick little dip into Vine?

What’s really annoying about my social media addiction is being made fun of for it.

Just think: There could be a meme out there people haven’t seen. But you and me? We’ve probably seen it.

The glaze people get after they find out you’re a communications professional

If your answer to the question “What do you do for a living?” is that you’re a nurse, teacher, firefighter, or even insurance agent, there are times when I envy you. Specifically, I envy you every time someone outside the communications field asks me what I do for a living.

I recently had a conversation with an attorney nearing retirement age in which he asked me not one, but three times, “OK, but… what do you actually do?

I thought I was telling him, but apparently it can be a difficult concept to understand.

There is never enough time to read everything

Reading is really important for communicators. It also happens to be my very favorite thing to do.

The downside is tere’s never enough time to read everything I want to (and feel like I need to read).

This is also known as “content overload.”

Start (obviously) with every post on Spin Sucks (that’s 10 a week). Add in everything the folks on the Arment Dietrich team write elsewhere in any given week. Next up, a few favorite industry sources, and some of the stuff our fave Crazies write. That could take up most of the day and I haven’t even gotten to the news, let alone fiction.

There are just not enough hours.

Communicators and prospects who just dont get it

We’re lucky enough to have awesome clients.

But that’s partly because we weed out a whole bunch of folks who aren’t good fits for us in one way or another. People who think spin, astroturfing, and whisper campaigns are the way to get attention.

And a big reason these tactics continue is because other communicators make excuses for it.


Look, it’s not my favorite. I prefer words to numbers. But I can’t escape math.

That’s my short list of Festivus grievances about being a communications professional.

(You didn’t think it would be long, did you? I love the people I work with!)

What’s yours?

Eleanor Pierce is an account executive at Arment Dietrich. A version of this article originally appeared on the Spin Sucks blog.

(Image via)

Topics: PR


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