Public Relations Executive is one of 10 most stressfull jobs of 2016, according to the Jobs Rated report. The stress comes from tight deadlines, oftentimes out of the agent’s control, and meeting in the public under sometimes inhospitable circumstances.“Since news happens 24/7, I’ve been woken in the middle of the night [and] had to get a pitch out on weekends, holidays,” says Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based PR agent Bruce Serbin.
And sometimes, the message presented is met with hostility. “Sometimes, you are berated for disturbing the reporter or offering them a story they aren’t interested in,” says Lauren Littlefield, president of Field Public Relations in Indianapolis. “It takes a thick skin to put the phone down and try again.”
Client demands can contribute to workplace stress no matter the field, and both public relations agents and event coordinators face some considerable demands from their clientele.
In less-than-ideal scenarios, PR agents are the public face when a client needs damage control. However, even in less dire straits, balancing client demands with public response is a source of stress.
“A big challenge in PR — and this doesn’t happen in every case — is getting a client to understand the story from the audience’s point of view,” Philadelphia-based PR agent Alexandra Golaszewska told CareerCast.com in an email. “Sometimes, people are so close to their businesses that they have a hard time seeing what’s compelling, or not so compelling, to those who aren’t connected to the company.”
“PR is a highly satisfying career,” Littlefield says. “No day is like another. It’s fast paced, exciting and very rewarding to those who do it well.”