Public relations can get a bad rep. The profession consistently ranks in the “top 10 most stressful jobs in America,” according to Ragan’s PR Daily.
It grabbed the number six most stressful job in America for 2014 ranking just below enlisted military personnel, military general, firefighter, airline pilot and event coordinator.
I don’t think we’re getting a fair shake, so here’s an inside look into what helps me stay happy on the job – even during the most stressful of times.
The obvious survival advice: sleep and exercise. Both are good for the mind, body and soul. Without the two, I am one cranky publicist. Here are my top tips for having a successful day:
1) Read the news. I take an hour every morning to read my favorite news outlets, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, Daily Business Review, and South Florida Business Journal among them. These get my brain going. I read with my clients in mind, for example figuring out how an attorney or construction expert can be worked into the news flow.
2) Get your least favorite tasks done first. I save a chunk of my morning for the to-do’s that I don’t like to do. Getting a task out of the way in the morning relieves me that it’s off my list and I can move on to the things I enjoy. If I need to get a meeting recap done from the day before, I do it in the morning while my mind is fresh.
3) Pitch, pitch, pitch. When landing a media hit for a client I get a rush. Passion is what drives me to come to work each day. Whether I am pitching a big lawsuit or a feature profile pegged to a charitable event, it’s the media outreach and relationship building that keep every day different and exciting.
4) Laugh with your coworkers. Laughter is proven to make you feel better, boost your heart rate and burn calories. I’m lucky to have some great coworkers who can put a smile on my face each day. Aaron Gordon’s detailed Yelp reviews and “famous emails” are known to make the entire office crack up, we also have working moms and dads who are full of ‘kids say the darndest things’ stories, and I can’t forget about Julia’s animal stories… she has three cats and two dogs – yes you heard me right, that’s five pets – but there are only three and a half tails and 17 legs among them…
5) Catch some rays. When I’m going through a mid-day slump, I get up and walk around to grab some sunshine. I recently moved desks in our office and now have a window, with a view of Miami’s Brickell Financial District. Having some sunshine at my desk makes all the difference, but walking down the block to grab a coffee or run an errand is my favorite way to get fresh air and clear my mind.
6) Report to your clients. Having constant communication with my clients is key. At the end of each day, I go through what I accomplished that day and let my clients know. This removes a layer of stress and allows me to leave the office feeling calm.
Go home, relax, repeat.