Why Would Anyone Want to Work in PR?

By Gus Nodal, Media Relations Manager

According to a recent annual report on job stress compiled by CareerCast, a career in public relations ranks among the top 10 most stressful careers – right next to police officer, airline pilot, firefighter and enlisted military personnel. So why would anyone want to work in PR?

When I was young the first thing I wanted to be was a Spanish-language news anchor (largely due to early influences from Jacobo Zabludovsky and Peter Jennings). I loved breaking news and my heart would stop whenever the breaking news graphic would pop on the television screen. I couldn’t wait to hear the latest news. This led to a continued path of news reporting from grammar school all the way to college, where I eventually earned a degree in communications. Of all the courses I took, the PR classes stood out the most. It felt organic and I quickly discovered my career path.

Now that I’ve been part of the communications industry for over a decade, I keep asking myself: why am I still working in public relations? Here are my top three reasons:

Fast-Paced Working Environment
It’s common for PR pros to go to work each day with a long list of things to do. From generating media coverage, to writing copy, press releases, pitches, communicating with clients and reporters — it seems there are few schedules more hectic than that of someone working in PR. Time flies when you’re that busy, and next thing you know it’s time to leave the office and head to happy hour.

Covering All Bases
PR is basically a combination of all media-related jobs and more. When I’m promoting a client, it can sometimes feel as if I’m running a marketing or advertising campaign. When I send out a pitch or press release, and my exact words make it on TV or the newspaper (which happens a lot), it’s almost as if I’m a journalist. Then when I’m trying to convince a busy reporter (competing with hundreds of other PR folks) to cover my news, suddenly it’s like I’m working in sales. Literally, a jack-of-all-trades.

Opportunity to Use Your Skills
Throughout my career, I’ve been responsible for hiring dozens of wide-eyed kids looking to break into PR. What I learned from this experience, is that it takes a specific type of person to work in PR. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t take a genius to work in PR, but common sense and top-tier organizational skills are mandatory. It sometimes comes down to having the ability to use your God-given powers of persuasion. Creativity, statement positioning and selling a specific message is something that doesn’t come easy to most people, but when you have those skills, everything is golden.

That’s my excuse for working in PR, what’s yours? Leave a comment below or email me [email protected].

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6 Comments

  1. Brianne Miller Reply

    …because I get to work with great people.

  2. David Landis Reply

    Gus, great blog. I agree. Those who have a future in #PR need to be able to pivot quickly, absorb new ideas, embrace creativity, be organized, be willing to work at all hours and most of all have top-notch writing skills. Glad you’re on our team, since you exhibit these skills in excess! Cheers, David

  3. Sean Dowdall Reply

    I like PR because it connects strategic thinking and clients’ goals to creativity and storytelling to producing a campaign/program and seeing the results. It is an end-to-end process that is rewarding to be part of in total.

  4. David Cumpston Reply

    Hi Gus,

    Nice post! Similar to you, I knew I wanted to be part of this field since I was a child. I didn’t necessarily know whether I’d gravitate to the PR side or the journalism/editorial side, but I’m ultimately glad I chose the former. PR has given (and continues to give) me so many opportunities to not only grow myself, but to also provide a continued learning environment among my peers.

    – David C.

  5. Gregory Bortkiewicz Reply

    PR is a great way to work with a wide range of industries that you may otherwise not get the chance to do.

  6. Jess Garcia Reply

    Hey Gus, great article!! i’m from El Salvador and i’ve been working in Ogilvy PR for a few years. Work in Public Relations gives us the challenge to get involve in so many important things: corporate, journalism, creative PR, media content, digital PR… and deal with that and do it good is a such pleasure!!