It’s good to be in PR.
I know, I know. It’s often listed among the most stressful jobs in America — usually in the same company as military personnel and airline pilot. But if you’re going to work in a stressful job, it may as well be one where lives generally aren’t at stake.
After 20 years in various communications roles, including journalist, editor, speechwriter, internal communicator, media relations and corporate communications leader, I finally went all-in this year, joining a PR agency for the first time. And with Thanksgiving upon us, now is an opportune time to take a moment to remember what we PR professionals can be thankful for this year.
• Something new every day. I can’t remember the last time I came home feeling like I accomplished exactly what I had in mind that morning. Unexpected calls, breaking news and “urgent” requests make each day a new adventure. Meanwhile, “I’ve-never-seen-this-before” moments keep us on our toes, while making for fascinating on-deadline conversations.
The changing media environment, influx of new media outlets and blurring of the lines among paid, owned and earned, mean that last month’s success is next month’s tired idea. We have to keep upping our game, which is both challenging and rewarding.
• The people. Granted, working in such a young industry can be depressing when I realize many of my colleagues are closer in age to my young children, than to me. But it’s also energizing, motivating and, simply, fun, to be around such a vibrant, optimistic group.
In addition, the chance to interact and work with senior executives, reporters and others across all spectrums, is truly a personal favorite for me. There is so much to learn from all these diverse and talented people.
• It’s never black and white. With all the variables we work with and all the unknowns, there’s seldom a clear right answer on how to approach a given project. It’s the perfect blend of art and science, and I’m thankful to work in an industry where data informs, but gut instinct still counts.
• The dress code. In what other profession is it uncool to be too dressed-up? My ties are out; jeans are in. The occasional sport coat works, but it’s never required. Being comfortable at work is a good thing.
• It’s a crazy, confusing world out there. OK, that’s not necessarily a good thing, but it means there should be plenty of decent jobs for all of us for the foreseeable future. And with the unique combination of skills we offer, let’s be thankful for the opportunity to provide some clarity and make a mark for brands and organizations in a positive way.
So whether you’re staffing a Black Friday media event, pitching the latest and greatest product innovation, negotiating fees with a blogger or prepping for a trade show, take a moment this week to be thankful for working a profession that offers it all.
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