Public Relations gained itself a reputation over the years of being a world of glitz and glamour. Many imagine the job entails schmoozey lunches, Prosecco at 5pm, and regularly attending fabulous events for clients. While (on occasion) that may be true, the real role of a PR executive is not for the faint hearted.
Earlier this year, job search site, CareerCast evaluated 200 professions and ranked PR as number six on the list of most stressful job roles, due to the pressure of client demands, tight deadlines and fear of public scrutiny.
Despite the huge pride and satisfaction of delivering a great PR campaign, the Jammers understand that agency life can sometimes feel like a game of spinning plates, and that it’s important to know how to de-stress in order to keep on top of priorities and keep a healthy work / life balance.
Here are our top tips for PR professionals on how to manage stressful situations and keep cool, calm and collected in order to provide a valuable service for clients:
Planning is extremely important in PR, and lack of planning and understanding of the needs of certain publications or reporters and especially your clients can turn a straightforward task into an emergency. The best way to save yourself the stress of sudden deadlines is to communicate with your clients constantly and make sure everyone is on the same page with activity for the upcoming months. It’s also important to create a calendar of your key media’s deadlines and upcoming topics so that you can plan client activity around what they are going to want to write about.
Set daily, weekly or monthly to do lists – or all three if you’re feeling organised, and make sure you put tasks in order of importance. Setting out reasonable expectations of your workload and setting yourself achievable goals is a great way to manage your time and remain in control. As well as making sure the most important actions aren’t left until the last minute.
We use Basecamp to help us prioritise our clients’ deadlines and workload, it’s a great system for the whole team for communicating updates and keeping on top of actions.
Take a break
Never ending to do lists and staring at your computer screen for hours of the day can make anyone feel overwhelmed. When you start to feel stressed, the best thing you can do is take a five-minute break. Walking away from your desk, even if it’s to make a brew, can help you regain focus and clarity, so that you are able to deliver the highest quality of work.
Meditation is also a great way to take a break and reduce anxiety. There are some great classes near JAM Towers in Manchester’s Buddhist Centre in the Northern Quarter, if you need a place to go and chill out!
Celebrate with your team
Whether it’s a small piece of coverage or a new client win, celebrating with your colleagues is a great way to alleviate stress. You’re part of a team and you’re all working hard to achieve great things for clients. Taking time to praise achievements will instantly remind you what first attracted you to the world of PR, and make any stressful situations worth it.
We launched Employee Motivation Day as a campaign for our client, Argos for Business, to inspire motivation in the UK’s workforce – visit their Facebook page to find more top tips on how to de-stress and keep motivated.