Public Relations: It’s Not Kid’s Play

September 2nd, 2011 | Narciso Tovar | 14 Comments

As I was on a treadmill the other day (working to get back to my “fighter’s weight”) I found myself noticing the little things all around me.

This is what happens to me once the endorphins begin to kick in and I’m not breathing too heavily (I wasn’t in a boot camp session that day)…

  • a leg extension machine sticking
  • the frayed edges of a stair-stepper
  • some meathead staring at himself *way too long*
  • the syncopated rhythms of other runners on their treadmills
  • … and the photo at the start of this post

And then it hit me: this whole PR/Communication gig is not for the faint-hearted.

And, by the way, in case you missed the news about CareerCast identifying PR as the second most stressful job in America, there’s good reason for the industry to take what it does seriously.

Among other things, we:

  • work with executives to help navigate crisis situations
  • help identify issues behind the scenes before they bubble up in the public
  • reach out to (and sometimes get chewed out by) members of the press
  • media train and coach spokespersons
  • write speeches and manifestos
  • tell clients when they’re wrong
  • serve as spokespersons

Now, I’m not here to necessarily demand more respect for the industry or proclaim that companies would crumble if we weren’t around. Heck, there have been times where I’ve been nothing more than a glorified assistant to a CEO at a conference…

And I’m sure we’ve all been there.

But even at those times we’ve screened calls for a few hours or ran around town to get a “proper” headset for a client, it’s still business. Business that calls for “big boy” pants. Business that doesn’t necessarily have time for you to lose sight of the seriousness of what you’re doing… even if you are wearing a chicken suit.

So if you need a breather or feel overwhelmed by what you have in front of you, don’t be afraid to ask for help – we’ve all been there.

It could very well be the catalyst that makes you stronger. And the best thing to help you grow.

With more than 15 years of communications experience, Narciso Tovar is principal of Big Noise Communications – a communications consultancy that runs on Method + Moxie. He lives in Dallas with his wife, Rhonda, and has a strong track record in media communications, both “old” and “new,” with organizations such as Vonage and the Wall Street Journal Online.

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9 comments
rmlaflam
rmlaflam

I am a public relations student and the more I hear about the field, the more I hear about how it is, as you say, "not for the faint hearted". I love the fast pace of the world of communications, but it can be overwhelming. As a student, I would say learning to manage my time will be what will be most beneficial to my future career. I am currently working 2 jobs and taking 17 credit hours. Balance has been key to me and learning to schedule, schedule, schedule, will keep me sane!

sushilpandit21
sushilpandit21

Nice Post . i would say it's collected of huge info. thanks for it sharing.

JGarant
JGarant

Couldn't agree more @Narciso17 . No matter what stage of our career we are in, we always need colleagues or mentors around us- we can't always go it alone. For me as a young professional, it is not only colleagues, but mentors and friends outside of my employer that provide not only support, but alternative points of view that help me to assess and learn more and more.

barryrsilver
barryrsilver like.author.displayName 1 Like

I know from whence you speak. My professional life has been as a funeral director. The funeral service industry also gets knocked around, until you need a funeral director at 2 AM on Christmas Eve. We all know the knocks of the profession we choose. Keep in mind what you do, why you do it and the dignity inherent and usually that can get you through the day. But, you're right, when the going gets tough, don't go it alone.

Narciso17
Narciso17

You Bring Up a Interesting Point @barryrsilver - Based On a Person's Perspective, Just About Every Profession Gets Dinged. It's How They View What *You* Do and How *You* Conduct Your Business That Will Make a Difference. For a PR Person, Performing Well on Building That Media List or Screening That Phone Call for the CEO's 'Very Important Meeting' (Be it Real or Like Mr. Burns' Above) Show Your Integrity and Work Ethic.

rachaelseda
rachaelseda like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I think this is a great lesson/reminder that transcends throughout many professions. Learning to ask for help is important, no one can do it by themselves.

Narciso17
Narciso17

Good Point @rachaelseda - This Kind of Thinking Can Serve Well in Various Professions. And b/c This Work Delves Into Alot of Different Things at the Same Time, There's Plenty of Room for Error...So When (Not If) Your Vision Starts to Get Blurry, Call for Back Up!

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