Last week, CareerCast.com released its 2011 report on the most stressful jobs and, wouldn’t you know it, PR Executives came in at number two!
Out of 200 jobs were polled, PR executive came second to pilots in terms of work-related stress. Apparently the media industry in general carries the highest work pressure with four of the top 10 most stressful jobs in the media including photojournalists, newscaster and advertising account executive.
Working in PR can certainly be very stressful. Juggling multiple projects, working against tight deadlines, and managing regular crisis and issues, all while delivering exceptional client service (or for those practitioners working in-house, reporting to senior executives) can be very stressful. Further, there is a constant need to consume as much media and news as possible, be experts in our clients’ business and industry, and generally be the smartest people we can be. As protectors of a company or brand’s reputation, we must consistently deliver positive results or risk affecting perception which could ultimately affect the bottom line.
CareerCast said, “Public Relations Officers are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive image with the public for many companies and government agencies. They typically are responsible for giving presentations and making speeches, often in front of large crowds. This highly-competitive field and tight deadlines keep stress at high-levels for specialists. Some PR officers, also, are required to interact with potentially hostile members of the media.”
While it is nice to see the profession of PR validated like this and positioned as a legitimate (albeit stressful) career, I struggle to see that this is one of the most high pressure careers. We are not conducting open-heart surgery, saving children’s lives, fighting fires, or serving in Afghanistan. I would guess that would be far more stressful.
Plus, we get to have a lot of fun, be creative and enjoy a career where every day is different than the last.
Here is the full list if you are interested:
Top 10 most stressful professions:
1. Commercial airline pilot
2. Public relations executive
3. Senior corporate executive
6. Advertising account executive
9. Emergency medical technician
10. Real estate agent