Head in hands moments – we've all had them. In fact, if that painting, ‘The Scream’, were ever used to sum up the general mood of a business, it would be PR.
Reasons why PR is likely to lead to an asylum?
Fast-paced industry, too many clients, too much pressure to be on the phone pitching while simultaneously attending internal catch-ups, client meetings and the dreaded (and bloody pointless) on-day... the list is endless.
Many industries are stressful, but PR seems to be especially inclined to make your hair fall out. Or maybe we're just better at communicating our stress? Who knows – fact is, the image of someone 13 hours into the working day, sat at their laptop wide-eyed with a slightly yellow tinge to their skin is all too common.
So what causes the stress? Sometimes it's your agency boss adding pressure and thus doing more harm than good, or maybe its graduates not taking responsibility as they continue to hide behind more senior people. Sometimes it’s the journo refusing to listen to even the good pitches, cancelling briefings at the last minute, telling us they'll write up a story, then not doing it.
Sometimes it's ourselves – worrying where that last two hours has just gone, shitting a brick about the four releases, two case studies and three by-liners we need to draft by the end of the day. However, the most likely cause of PRinsania is... the damn client.
God love 'em. Not all clients make you want to jump off the Gurgaon ship building. When they know what they're doing and understand PR, they're an amazing asset. Unfortunately, that's bloody rare. Mostly, they call at 6.30pm asking for a report you sent them a month ago. Except now they want the links to each piece of coverage, or want to know the circulation of every publication they’ve appeared in in the last six months. Sometimes, they might call you to ask why they're not front page of the FET with the corporate non-news release they forced you to issue AFTER it had crossed the wires (despite your protests).
We were about to list some of our favourite instances of client shiteness – taken from behind the tightly closed door in our brain that our therapist warned us not to open. Unfortunately there are so many examples, it'll have to go into a whole other post so... until next time...