Are millennial PR professionals struggling with too much stress at work?

Some say it’s the nature of the beast called PR. Some say we lack proper processes and mentoring that allows professionals to negotiate their daily work life. Whatever the reason, work stress is only rising for the millennial PR professionals. We look at the main reasons and find out what they do to handle stress.

Clients, coverage and chaos!

Every under 30 PR pro we spoke to for this story, flagged off unrealistic client expectations as one of the biggest cause of stress.

Harday Gupta, assistant manager, Integrated Centre for Consultant Pvt. Ltd., “Basically the client sometimes gives me a very small window. For example, one of my clients’ asked me to organize a press conference the next day with a minimum media turn out of 35 to 40 reporters and expecting over 15 to 20 clips in newspapers the day after the conference.”

Mayuri Saxena, senior publicist working at e-xpress Interactive Software Pvt Ltd, confesses that, “Ever since I have started my career in PR, there has been no day without stress. Yes. This is true! PR is a job considered to be stressful and we all have accepted it. Rather we are living with it.”   

For Mayuri, the three main causes for stress have been, “Deadlines, the challenge of timely coordination with your client, boss and journalists and lastly and most of all- the stress of getting demanding coverage for the account you are working on. It utterly leads to stress and tension as you have limited time to make sure you get the coverage.”

PR and media relations manager, with e-commerce firm KartRocket, Neha Sawhney says her biggest stress is having to call a journalist at an odd hour and being berated by them for doing so.

Long hours

Anyone signs up for PR does sign up for a 24x7 work shift. This is something that causes Upasana Gupta, executive-brand communications, PRHUB, stress at work. She says, ”Non-uniform division of labor, working on weekends and unforeseen tasks are some stress enhancers at work. Nobody wants to escape work, but to meet expectations that start to tire you out, then it’s a bit too overwhelming. Delegation of responsibility should be such that exhaustion and fatigue does not rule your thought and peace prevails even at work. It is said that public relations is a full time job, but there some Saturdays where we just want to stay back home and relax.”

Shreya Khatri, senior account executive, Elite Relations, sums up the entire challenge saying, “To meet the deadlines, clients’ arrogant behavior, undefined work schedule & unnecessary debate with the team members. these things increase the stress level during working hour. Specially in my case staying alone & managing both challenges together is sometimes very annoying.”

How do you cope with stress?

So how does one cope with stress. Few organisations appear to have an organized way of dealing with stress at work apart from office game rooms and offsite trips.

Upasna deals with stress with, “Coffee or tea, a bit old school but then, they work the best for me. It never hurts to enjoy the rains through your office window, sipping coffee from your favorite mug (yes I carry mine to work every day!), clicking selfies or just a simple stroll outside with colleagues. Updating your playlist or a little shopping does not hurt. Retail therapy is the best J.”

Neha, however feels that nowadays all companies and agencies do give a lot of options for coping with stress.  She says, “We do have pets in our office and we can get our pets as well to office and play for some time. Moreover, the options of foosball, billiards, table tennis & gym facilities are also there which works as stress booster.”

Mayuri tries to keep a good attitude as well towards handling stress, understanding that its part of the job. Working for a gaming company helps and she uses this to let of steam, “We have a dedicated gaming room for the employees who can play with controllers whenever they are stressed. So whenever I feel stressed I indulge myself in some smacking gaming sessions with my colleagues.”

For Harday while cricket on the office terrace helps, what also helps is trying to solve the issue at hand with a meeting, some beer and listening to Krishna Das & Kishore Kumar's songs.

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