A recent report in PR Newser™ said that being a public relations consultant is one of the top 10 high-stress jobs. I’m not surprised. Each of the members of PRConsultants Group work long hours, handle critical issues and rarely get a thank you for a day’s work. But despite the downsides, I still think being a PR pro is one of the best jobs available today. Why? Because it’s one of the few careers where you can really live your passions every day.
When I decided to be a journalist at a pretty young age, I chose that career because I wanted to make a difference. I hoped to educate people on important issues like health and parenting. I aspired to aid people in making informed decisions about issues and their elected representatives. After working in radio and TV news for six years, I gave it up. I didn’t feel like I was making any difference in my 90-second story each night, which more often was about a plane crash than it was any important social issue. I was unhappy, burnt out and tired of working around people who cared more about their face being on the TV than they did about what they reported.
As soon as I started working in public relations, I realized what had been missing. Public relations is the ultimate career to fuel your passions. In a career satisfaction article in Wetfeet®, Tory Johnson, founder and CEO of Women for Hire says Passion is one of “The Four Ps” to a rewarding career. Place (loving where you work), People (enjoying your peers at work) and Pay (salary is important) are the other keys to career satisfaction. I couldn’t agree more.
When I think about the projects I work on each year, the ones that keep me heading to work every day, the ones that I remember years later, they are the projects that are fueled by passion. There are plenty of passion-filled issues to dive into here in Alaska. My firm, KD/PR Virtual, has advocated against the proposed Pebble Mine, a copper and gold mine that threatens the world’s largest salmon fishery and a way of life for Alaska’s people. I really want my boys to be able to take their kids fishing or bear viewing there some day. We’ve had the chance to educate about climate change, shipping safety, polar bears and offshore oil drilling for World Wildlife Fund’s Alaska Field Office. We get to encourage kids and adults to learn a love of fishing, and to be good river stewards through work with the Kenai River Sportfishing Association. This spring, we were able to work for the Girl Scouts of Alaska to boost cookie sales, and to share the message “It’s so much more than cookies.” My first stab at entrepreneurship was selling Girl Scout cookies in Illinois as a 3rd grader, and I’m positive that experience helped to develop my savvy as a small-business owner today. This story was a pretty easy sell for me, since I’m living proof of the message.
A University of Chicago study reported that one of four workers in the U.S. are unhappy with their jobs. Listening to my friends, I’d say that number is even higher. Public relations counseling may be high stress, but, I still count my lucky stars every day. The long hours and pressure to perform are worth it when you’re doing something you love. PR professionals make a difference in the world every day.
If you’re looking to hire someone to help with your business’ publicity or communications, look no further than a PR pro who is passionate about you or your work. When our hearts are in our job, the results can be amazing.
Kathy Day, APR, is the passionate owner of Alaska’s only virtual public relations agency.