When most people hear the phrase, “I work in public relations,” it’s often followed by the question, “What is that, exactly?” If it’s family asking, then the answer usually sounds something like, “A rollercoaster of emotions from being the liaison between a client and the public.” If it’s an executive or business person, it probably sounds more like, “Public relations is an industry where you do whatever it takes to get the client’s news on CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, or in some other top-tier publication.”
Truth be told, working in public relations really can be an emotional roller coaster on a day-to-day basis; however, it can also be extremely rewarding. We present to you the seven emotions a PR professional is likely to experience in a day.
8:00 am – The Coffee High
Coffee is an essential part of the morning process. Wake up, drink coffee. Drive to work, drink coffee. Sit at your desk, drink coffee. In the field of public relations, it’s not uncommon to get to the office and start putting fires out. Or, answering 20 (or more!) emails. Experiencing the “coffee high” at 8 a.m. could very well be the best emotion you feel all day.
9:00 am- FIRE!
Once you sit down at your computer, you drink coffee and begin sorting client emails. Then, you come across a subject line labeled “URGENT.” In the world of PR, that word could mean the difference between a hailstorm and a sunny day. In this instance, the client is letting you know it plans to release a new product, service or both… tomorrow. At this point, you begin panicking. Not only do you have to write a pitch within the hour, you must also conjure up a press release. “This is it.” You say to yourself, “This is what I’ve been training for.” And then you begin the process of writing the best pitch of your life. Godspeed.
10:00 am – Media List Blues
An hour later, your pitch is sent and the waiting begins. Suddenly, you hear that ding you’ve waited so impatiently for: you’ve got mail. It’s from the one journalist that you were counting on to cover the story. To your surprise, the note informs you that he or she has left the publication, and to please remove the email from your press list. How could this reporter do this to you? Has he/she forgotten all the hit stories you’ve provided? Let the real tears of sorrow flow.
12:00 noon — The Pitch Happy Dance
Okay, so your initial lead didn’t pan out. But the intern found a killer replacement with an even bigger publication. It’s been two hours since the pitch went out and you’ve received several confirmed interests. We call this a win. Allow the pitch happy dance to overtake you.
1:00 pm- The Afternoon Chaos
Now that the pitch fire has been extinguished, you’re able to begin writing a press release that you have little-to-no information about, all while taking care of your day-to-day duties. The thing about us PR professionals is that we’re excellent multi-taskers. It’s almost as if our brains were wired from the beginning to make lists and compartmentalize day-to-day tasks, which onlookers might call chaos, yet we call an organized mess. This is the afternoon chaos. It’s a whirlwind of emotion that somehow leaves us feeling quite accomplished come 5:00 pm.
3:00pm- The Afternoon Lull
At this point, you need more coffee. You feel like you’ve been running a marathon and you still have 10 miles left to run. As you begin checking things off your to-do list, you realize that you went into “beast-mode” a little too fast, and now you’re almost to the finish line with no energy to spare. The yawning begins and you realize there’s still two hours left in the day. Cue the afternoon lull.
5:00 pm- Relief
Finally, the day has come to an end. You wrote a phenomenal pitch that made several journalists happy, you got the press release approved, you finished social content for another client and you succeeded at being awesome again. You pack up your bag and head to the nearest pub to buy a celebratory drink for being so great. All in a day’s work. #selffive