I worked in a PR department for several years, and it was probably one of the most stressful times of my career. Why was it so stressful? It was stressful because I had to deal with unrealistic deadlines, unreasonable clients, and demanding PR divas.
The PR field can look very attractive from the outside, because it has the illusion of being nothing but prestigious companies and meetings with high-profile clients. I can personally tell you that this is not the case. Although working in the PR field can be exciting at times, it can also drain you.
Working for a PR agency can be stressful, but working in a PR department of a corporate company can oftentimes be worse – especially if it is a Fortune 100 company. In the PR department of a high profile company, there is always constant pressure on the PR team to position ensure that the company’s brand is positioned in a positive light. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that the company must maintain a positive image in order to attract new investors and please current shareholders. Secondly, a positive image is also necessary to increase sales and maintain an acceptable profit margin. Many people find it surprising at how much PR can negatively or positively impact a company’s financial bottom line.
If you work in the PR department of Coca-Cola for example, you have probably been really busy over the past year trying to save the image of the company’s soft drink brand. More people are turning to healthier beverages instead of soda, so this means that Coke’s PR team has had to do some serious crisis management and damage control. Let’s not forget General Motor’s PR team, I can’t imagine what they have been through over the past year.
So how do you survive working in a corporate PR department? The first thing you should do is to create a realistic “to do” list each day. By making an effort to set realistic goals, you will feel that you have accomplished something at the end of each day. The feeling of accomplishment can help keep you calm, sane and balanced. The next survival tip is to be proactive when it comes to monitoring news related to your company. This will help you stay one step ahead of your CEO — which is critical.
Because working in a corporate PR department can be so stressful, some employees do not like to read anything about the company once they leave the office. While this is certainly understandable, it is not a good idea when the company is going through a PR crisis. However, once the crisis is over make sure you take some down time to calm down and rejuvenate.