Recent surveys on stresssful jobs have PR front and center, in usually a negative light. According to a survey conducted by @careercast, PR was the number two most stressful job in the U.S. last year, beaten out only by commercial airplane pilot. An update to that survey this year has PR in the #7 seat among the “top ten most stressful jobs.” The rationale for this rating incorporates how PR involves “juggling multiple projects and deadlines at once, staying current with the latest news across multiple channels, dealing with a slew of different personalities and keeping on top of the latest social media resources.” We can also pepper in travel, presentations and accountability in this stressful mix and it becomes tension city.
So, while there is no downplaying the stress … lots of it at times, why do we stay in the game?
We can answer this by saying “I love what I do” but as with most things in life, love is just not enough. For me, and for many of us in the pr game, it’s about a feeling – kind of like the one’s portrayed in movies like “Rudy” or “Rocky” when the good guy fights the hard, grueling fight and actually wins. In what other industry can you come up with an original idea, mold it into a strategy, sell it (convincingly) to a client, build it into a creative, newsworthy pitch, present it to a news outlet, and see it come to life in the form of a story for all to see, read or hear.
Yes, the game can be very stressful …it takes time, it takes energy and it takes determination. But there are the most incredible feelings along the way, which may be why we keep rolling the dice. There is the adrenaline rush when the game begins with winning a new business pitch, or when a client gives you the go-ahead on your idea; there is the celebration in the middle of the game (and yes I still scream when this happens) when a reporter agrees to cover your story. But, best of all, at game’s end, there is a “raise your arms over your head celebration” (like Rocky and Rudy) when you see your story appear in USA Today, on national television … or on a local, drive time radio show.
Knowing it was your idea, from its inception to its reality, and being the one to bring it full circle is the ultimate, truest sense of accomplishment –a feeling I would imagine is hard to duplicate in most other fields. It’s a feeling like no other, it has the potential to make stress disappear, and keeps you playing the game over and over again.