There’s nothing more fabulous than living the life of a public relations professional, is there? You wake up around noon with a slight buzz from the website launch party you attended the previous evening. After checking your morning emails, you hop out of bed and walk to your computer to Skype with your personal assistant. They let you know all the meetings you have during the day – all lunch, tea, dinner, and drink meetings, of course.
After a brief chat with a major celebrity about their latest clothing line, you head out for the day in the back of your stretch limo. You get a call from a small local business asking for your services, but you laugh them off and hang up. Who needs that hassle? Only the big time for you!
After your meetings (one where you got to sample a major client’s delicious plum wine), you hit up a trendy bar to meet friends before retiring early. You shut your phone completely off and enjoy a full night’s rest.
Sound familiar? No? Probably because it’s complete BS!
The Real Life
TV shows like Sex and the City show PR pros just as it was described above – jetting around the big city having drinks and living a fabulous life envied by literally everyone. Of course if you’re in the industry you know it’s not exactly like that, and in fact can be quite the opposite!
Most shows and movies place the PR pro in the big city of New York. Naturally, not everyone lives in New York, nor do they make New York PR money. Most people in the industry work in places like Indianapolis and Chattanooga and have clients that don’t exactly have celebrity bucks. This is how the industry works!
No matter how much money you’re making or if you live in a huge market like Los Angeles, a PR pro’s work is never done. Waking up at noon? Forget about it. Turning your phone off at night? Hilarious, especially during a huge campaign. When every minute during a disaster costs money, you leave your phone on or suffer the consequences.
The drinking is about right, though.
So where’d the myth come from that a public relations job is so glamorous? Well, probably from public relations themselves. We’re good at making things seem like they’re way better than they actually are, so it stands to reason we would do it with our own lives!
Plus, people like to think what we do is a sort of…magic. When you boil it down, it’s a type of manipulation that occurs between our lips to the public’s ears. Then when they think of the industry, they think of stuff they’ve seen on TV, which perpetuates the myth.
But honestly, through the long hours and crazy times and misconceptions, would we have it any other way? And if we can’t actually live the fab lifestyle portrayed in the movies, isn’t the next best thing that people believe we are?
What’s the closest you’ve come to a “fabulous” PR lifestyle?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html