PR is not for everyone. But for me – someone who has A.D.D., likes working at a fast pace and enjoys doing something different each day – it’s the perfect profession. On any given day, I can be found writing a press release, coordinating an event, drafting a script, preparing an executive for a media interview, posting on social media channels or editing videos. The work is fun and challenging, and the industry changes every minute.
Forbes recently came out with its Most Stressful Jobs of 2014 list and, again, “public relations executive” was near the top of the list at No. 6. I’m not about to compare the stress level of my job with those of actual heroes like firefighters and enlisted military personnel. I do, however, want to help change the perception many people have of PR professionals – that we just schmooze and booze with friends, plan parties and spin the truth for whomever pays us. In fact, the real PR world is much more demanding, chaotic, strategic and rewarding.
Here’s one example: Recently, on behalf of one of NST’s clients, a couple NSTers got to travel to Arizona for a collector car auction. Sounds fun, right? Well, our team had spent years building relationships, coordinating with partners and working with media to build and promote a custom vehicle that travelled across the country to different auto shows and events. Reaching this point took dozens of meetings, hundreds of phone calls, several project timelines, photo shoots, messaging documents, transport coordination, and more. Our hard work had paid off in the form of significant fanfare and media attention, and by helping position our client as a leader in the automotive industry, but now was the icing on the cake – we got to say goodbye to our custom vehicle and auction it off, with all of the proceeds going to charity.
In the end, all of our work came down to about four minutes up on the auction block. In that short time, thanks to one generous bidder, we raised $200,000 for three great charities! The winning bidder’s response was one I’ll never forget. He told us that once he knew it was for charity and saw how excited we were getting, he continued to increase his bid. He said he felt that he had been blessed and wanted to return the favor.
PR is not for everyone. But every now and then you get to be part of something bigger than your “job” or “work” and actually see the tangible difference your effort is making. In this case, several kids who are underprivileged, chronically ill, abused and neglected will be getting both the help they need and the joy they deserve to live a more normal life. And that makes me proud what I do and where I go to work everyday.