Seven ways to deal with Stress in PR

Now we know that with proof that PR is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Sixth most stressful job, to be precise. If it is, so be it. You are in the business of PR and now you are far ahead of the point when you can think of a career change. As saying goes, if you can’t change the world, learn to live in it. On the similar lines, if you can’t change the job the best way out is to learn to deal with the stress in it. We have a few tips to share. Go ahead and add more from your experience.

  1. Select Clients Wisely

That’s the most important and most probably the impossible part of the game. But if you do it right, half the battle is won. I know of clients who are seen as ‘impossible to work with’ by many consultancies. New consultancies keep trying and burning their hands. The tussle continues only till the baton is passed on.

The best way is to pick projects and clients that fall under your expertise and passion. Working on projects and campaigns that are close to your heart makes pitching much easier and you prove to be the true advocate for such campaigns. It’s no more work for the heck of it. Fake communication has least effect and only stressing.

  1. Planning Helps

Most of the emergencies, if not all, arise out of lack of forward planning. Yes, we know that there is no Nostradamus today and you can’t predict the future. But planning is the next best and only possible option. Try planning ahead and the guarantee is that you will save yourself from lot many situations and stress arising out of them.

Keep a tab on the publishing cycles, gain access to as many editorial calendars as possible and refer to them frequently. That way you can get quotes for the stories well in time. Keep the communication on with clients and journalists all the time. It will save you from communication gaps and confusions caused because of it.

  1. Know of Limitations

You need to understand and keep reminding the same to yourself, boss and the client that there is only so much that can be achieved by PR. It’s nowhere close to or parallel to advertising. Uncertainty is the other name of PR. At best, you can try convincing media to do a story and do it your way. When, how much, how big, which page, what format, all that is not in your control and that’s how it works.

There are so many slips between the cup and lips. A good story, targeted media, right journalist, timing, pitch and so many other factors play in getting the desired exposure. That is the reality of PR.

  1. Never Over-promise

Client pays for your expertise and efforts. Results depend on various factors. Most of them are beyond your control. Don’t get overboard by the relation you have with media and don’t commit on the basis of that. End of the day, the editors and producers take the call. Even if the journalist is a good friend, chances are he may not get your story positioned and you’ll have to face the stress and embarrassment.

  1. Remain Connected

Keeping the gates of communication open all the time and regular updating keeps everyone on the same page. If you update regularly and remain honest, the client will only appreciate the efforts and gesture. If the results are not as per your expectations, it’s always good to keep the client in loop and update them of the situation. They may help with ideas and ways to handle the situation thereby turning the scene altogether.

  1. Keep the Trust Factor Alive

PR professionals are often blamed of not sticking to their promises. It is understood that the job of PR in itself is one that comes without any guarantees. But then that doesn’t mean that the PR professional is also supposed to be like that. Results may or may not come as desired, but the client has to trust your efforts and that would only happen if you keep your promises. Send reports timely, be reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Take it Easy

That’s again something way too easier said than done. Had it been that easy a thing to do, PR wouldn’t have found a place in the most stressful jobs list. But that’s the antidote when things go against the plan. Just go with the flow. Ultimately, you are on the job to save the world.

Nothing can remove the entire stress from the job of PR. That’s how it is and probably meant to be so. But at the same time it can be so much fun. The kick you get when you see the headlines which were designed by you. Stories well placed by your efforts and people talking about the issues that you pitched. That’s the reward. Done with all the more integrity and dedication, PR can prove to be one of the most respected jobs.

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Reputation Today is India’s only print magazine for Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals. It is the official magazine of PRAXIS - India’s largest offsite summit for Public Relations and Corporate Communications.

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