Top 10 Reasons Why Being a PR Pro is One of the Toughest Jobs You Could Have

At the risk of this post coming off as slightly depressing for anyone interested in pursuing a career in PR, I’ve decided to have a little fun and run this list anyway.

Also, I want to stress that I realize there are many other jobs that are much more challenging (being in the military, a doctor, teacher, etc.) than working in PR, but like I said, let’s have a little fun with this.

Here’s the top 10 reasons why being a PR pro is one of the toughest jobs you could have:

10. Demanding clients – They always want more results.

9. Demanding bosses – See above.

8. Meetings, conference calls, meetings, conference calls – Every day is filled with these. How can work ever get done?

7. Time management difficulties – No matter how many clients you may have, the work has to get done.

6. Getting the raise you want is no easy feat – The economy aside, it’s tough enough showcasing the value in the results we achieve for clients, so how do we go about doing it for ourselves during yearly reviews?

5. New tools keep appearing – There is a constant need to stay on top of the newest resources that are available and a need to be prepared to offer counsel on them.

4. Nothing is harder than securing a top-tier media interview – Even when we send well-timed, appropriate pitches, reporters are still annoyed by all of the e-mails and calls they receive.

3. Nothing is harder than securing an interview, regardless of outlet – There are less media outlets and reporters than ever before.

2. You’re Always On-Call – There’s no traditional work schedule. Check any PR pro’s e-mail inbox and you’ll be sure to find conversations happening at the most random of times.

And the number one reason why being a PR pro is one of the toughest jobs you could have…

1. Hey, we get no respect – Stealing a line from Rodney Dangerfield here. Whether it’s battling for more budget from clients or defending ourselves against the actions of unethical agencies and PR pros, we always have an uphill battle against others.

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30 comments on “Top 10 Reasons Why Being a PR Pro is One of the Toughest Jobs You Could Have

    • Some people take these challenges as, well, challenges, and that drives them. Sounds like you and I are very similar in that regard.

      Thanks for the comment, Eric!

  1. PR is the one job that allows you to participate in any job! I enjoy every gamut of this profession! From shooting non-boring corporate head-shots to creating a youtube video that lands a national ad campaign, to arranging for a free helicopter ride for a senior citizen , to having Steven Tyler of Aerosmith call an ailing ALS woman, and getting free nation-wide media coverage, to seeing the smile of an elderly, legally bline man who gets media coverage for her beautiful artwork, this job keeps me sharp, and constantly in the multi-task, multi-talent, and multi-enjoyment of life and career zone!

      • Thanks, and you have quite the resume, and I’m jealous too! I can honestly say I’ve loved every project I”ve worked on here! I’ve got a great job at an amazing non-profit, our D.R.E.A.M. Team, (Dare to Reach Every Amazing Moment) has allotted me an unlimited number of ways to connect with the Media and garner awesome free international coverage. Check out our website, I highly recommend to everyone of my Blitz Public Relations clients (I have a part-time PR business as well) to incorporate a D.R.E.A.M. Team into their HR and PR depts. Unlimited opportunities to do good deeds, get massive media coverage, and enjoy watching people’s dreams, however big or small, come true.

  2. I have to agree with Sherry. It’s a great career if you’re curious and love to learn. It’s also exciting when you help an organization reach its goals through your creative, strategic recommendations. And if you’re as strong a writer, as you are, it’s a natural fit.

    • I don’t think any job is easy, and I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that you can learn so much in this profession. That’s what drives me and it sounds like it does that for you as well.

  3. I was just thinking about one reason why PR is becoming more challenging, and that’s due to client expectations are off the hook. I am donning more hats than I’ve been directly trained for, and in spite of my “that’s not my core competency, client,” I’m having to jump in, figure it out and earn my keep.

    Times they are a-changin, eh?

  4. NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING! Sorry didn’t mean to yell, but that’s what I do. Sometimes jumping in and figuring it out can actually be a no-so-productive way to do it. We are A type personalities, most of us in this business have to be… and our instincts say, ‘I can do this, I just need to figure it out…’ An alternative in a small percentage of client services may be subbing out work to a reliable, professional core of well-trusted people who offer services you don’t have the time or experience to offer your client. It is the best answer for when you just can’t do it all. You can still bill the hours and pay your people, and even make a small profit, but as a small agency, or even a big one, your “vendors” are your “partners” in many ways.

  5. I feel I need to preface this by saying how much I love PR and what I do:). However… This is dead-on! I found after I read each one, I thought, “Yes! That’s so true!!!” Glad I’m not alone:)

  6. This is spot-on. I love what I do, and the people I work with, and can’t imagine doing anything else. However, there are days when it seems all ten reasons just come crashing down. What makes it all worth while is when a client tells you how much they appreciate your help and that what you did made their day, week, or year. Those days are what keep me in this business.

    • This definitely isn’t the business where you can expect a pat on the back from a client all the time, but when it happens, that feeling is priceless.

  7. good article Andrew….every job has pressure sometimes, pr seems to have pressure all the time. I enjoy you blog. grammy

  8. Public relations isn’t easy, as Andrew so accurately points out. Been there; experienced it all…and more! But it has been, for my 40-plus years working in the profession as well as nearly a decade teaching the next generations of PR professionals, one of the most rewarding careers I could imagine. Ton of fun; boatloads of frustration. But the end result of a well-planned campaign or seeing a graduating PR superstar land a plum entry-level position makes it all worthwhile.

    • There are certainly some bright spots to this profession and I hope we all get to experience them (more than once). 40 years? That’s unbelievable. Sounds like you’ve had some great experiences over that time.

  9. Good list, I can relate to pretty much every one of these. Per Jayme’s comment, I wear more than my namesake “3 Hats” b/c there’s just so much to do (and yes, it can be a lot of fun sometimes.) BTW I used a similar ‘do my own stunts’ graphic last week, heh. FWIW.

  10. Like the others here, I love what I do, except on the days when I don’t. Achieving a win for a client when I get a “win” for a client keeps me going from day to day. Then there’s the delight in the strategy part…I think that’s the part that delights me most.

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