The Best (and Worst) Aspects of My Job

Originally published on PRSSA Progressions blog

In my past few speaking opportunities, a few of you have asked what my least favorite part of my job is, and I always applaud that curiosity.

As future practitioners, it’s wise to understand not all of your responsibilities will be a highlight of your day. Don’t fret, footprinters. As you know, there are a lot of aspects of PR that make what we do so very rewarding. This post shows a balance between the two.

BEST: Bucket List Events
Just this year, I’ve had the opportunity to attend the BCS National Championship, the NCAA Final Four and four highly anticipated soccer matches. Granted, a TON of hard work went into planning and executing each of these, but who knows if I would have ever had the opportunity to do any of these things if it weren’t for my job — let alone the intimate access I’ve experienced.

WORST: Counting on Others
Trust me, I’m all for teamwork, but so much of what we do is dependent on the interest and availability of others, especially in reference to media relations. Imagine you and your team ideating and falling in love with a brilliant idea, selling it into the client, receiving a budget for execution, planning every aspect of that program, contracting spokespeople, coordinating logistics with vendors, drafting media materials, performing site checks, developing crisis plans, applying for permits, contacting media, etc. Nothing hurts more when:

A) a competing PR event receives coverage instead of yours
B) breaking news rerouted a TV crew that was scheduled to attend your event
C) media attended but decided not to air
D) someone at the station opted to purposely remove the branding from the segment.

While these things can sometimes be prevented through further preparation, it’s fair to say that other people often hold the fate of your program in their hands. *cringe*

BEST: “I Wrote That!”
Words are very personal to me. Some of the most rewarding moments I’ve experienced during my time in public relations are finding my words in mainstream media. The root of the excitement goes back to my former aspirations of being an author or journalist. While I do not receive a byline for anything I write other than my blog, it’s still a personal victory knowing my writing was good enough to appear as-is in some of the world’s most renowned publications.

WORST: Always Connected
Challenge…tell me the next time you find a PR executive without their phone. Part of my job demands that I’m always available to help put out a fire, fulfill a request or provide clarifications to clients and media. Fortunately, I work at an agency where work-life effectiveness is valued, and my client contacts are equally as considerate. That said, consumers and media don’t abide by 9-5 working hours, and some emergencies can’t wait until morning.

More to come on this topic down the road. There are many aspects of public relations to celebrate, and it’s also fun to share the horror stories we have encountered.

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2 thoughts on “The Best (and Worst) Aspects of My Job

  1. Ryan, I loved this post, especially the last two. I wanted to be an author growing up and seeing my words in print (even without my name) is always exciting! It can definitely be a challenge to be so attached to my phone and feel like I have to check my email constantly. That said, I think the most fun part of PR is seeing results and feeling like you’ve made a difference for a client!

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