The glitz, the glamour, and the rich and famous – these are some of the perceptions people have when we talk about the world of public relations. The big events that they get to attend and all the endless run-ins with celebrities and VIPs might be some of the well-known perks, but many may not be aware of the sheer amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
In this article, we explore the common perceptions and realities about life in this profession.
Expectation: It’s a 9-5 job, 5 days a week.
Reality: Working on weekends is the norm for PR professionals.
Although you are expected to complete the normal 8-hour work routine during weekdays, the reality is you may find yourself working on weekends, too! Many PR professionals spend time out of the office networking and making valuable connections for branding and sponsorship of the organisation they work for. In fact, they juggle getting all the writing and event prep done both in the office and after working hours.
Expectation: It’s a walk in the park.
Reality: You need to be on your own feet at all times and manage clients expectations just like any other job.
Many PR professionals work round-the-clock to manage clients expectations, as such the stress levels may be similar or slightly even more than other client-facing jobs. The unpredictable nature of this job can be both challenging and exciting, so you need to be up for the challenge!
Expectation: Your degree in Communications is sufficient.
Reality: You must learn to collaborate with others and become a Jack or Jill of all trades (basically, the learning never stops!)
As a PR executive, you are not only communicating but you are doing a lot more than that. Bear in mind, you need to adapt and become a Jack or Jill of all trades in this field as your clients come from various industries. To put it simply, you need collaborate with others and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technological advancements in your clients’ best interest.
Expectation: You will love working in PR because everyone’s friendly!
Reality: You will learn to develop a thick skin to handle different personalities.
This may sound clichè, but any job whether in PR or other industries, is not all smiles and laughter. Although it may be daunting dealing with various personalities, you will soon develop a knack for it as you progress further in your career. Always conduct yourself in a professional manner, develop a plan and stick with it. Be sure to reach out to your colleagues for support, too!
Public relations is an exciting field for those who crave new challenges every day, no matter what the reality has in store.