This is a guest post by Heather Taylor, PR specialist at Stampington & Company.
There is the side of public relations captured on Instagram, where the desks are tidy, perfect manicures clack on Apple keypads, and a Starbucks cup sits at a 360 degree angle from a color-coordinated Moleskine planner.
Then there’s the other side you never see on Instagram. The side filled with difficult clients, an inbox crammed with hundreds of emails, endless conference calls and Starbucks cups scattered everywhere. It’s a slippery slope to stress that often leaves publicists looking and feeling a lot like this GIF.
No matter if you’re in PR, advertising or marketing, anyone who works in these fields on a long-term basis knows it’s impossible to be a light bulb full of award-winning ideas that never burns out. Client pressure, grueling hours, being “on” 24/7 thanks to smartphones, and demands of the job can easily stress strain new and senior members alike – and may lead them to feel as though they are burning out.
Think you’re about to burn out? Hang on. These six tips from PR pros who have seen it all will help combat those feelings and keep you grounded and self-assured.
1) Don’t do all the work – manage the workload.
Steve Knipstein, vice president of KemperLesnik, has been in public relations for 25 years and faced moments in his career where he felt as though he was being spread too thin. Rather than give in to the feeling of being overwhelmed, Knipstein says the best strategy is to step back and think about managing the workload instead of actually doing all the work. By doing this, you’ll grow as a strategist and become much more efficient and priority-driven.
2) Stop thinking.
Wait, what? How does one do this exactly? Jasmine Bina, founder of Best Pitch I Ever Got, says that for the moments in PR that you can’t control, it’s important to take a moment to step away and make your mind go blank. “I don’t spot the right moves when my brain is clouded. Solutions suddenly appear when you get your head above the clouds.”
3) Enjoy the little victories.
In 1993, Brian Scott Gross began his PR career as an intern at a record label. Gross is now the president of BSG Public Relations, entering its 16th year in business. The key to that kind of longevity is to enjoy your success. It doesn’t matter if the win is big or small. Gross says you should find happiness in a media hit or doing something positive for a client. These victories are important for morale, and they should keep you going and drive you every day.
4) Don’t work late into the night.
The aforementioned smartphones make this an easy rule to break, but Kristine Snively, founder of Pristine Public Relations, says it’s better to go to bed. “Get up early in the morning and start fresh. Your days will not feel as long – even though you are putting in the same amount of hours.”
5) Stay positive.
Having worked in production for nine years, Adam Defrin, director/producer at GREY New York says the best way to beat burnout is to start making friends. Positivity is contagious and sometimes all you need to boost your mood is to take a break to chat with a colleague.
6) Make the most of every moment.
It’s not as cheesy as it sounds, folks. Stacy Hintermeister, vp/account director at Preston Kelly, says that for parents struggling to maintain the work/life-balancing act, the only way to truly thrive is to cherish the great moments that come your way. “Living every moment to the fullest only makes us that much better in marketing since the business itself is rooted in human truths. The best way to stay connected and relevant is to live those human truths each and every day.”
Heather Taylor is a PR Specialist at Stampington & Company and freelance writer for HelloGiggles. She has covered events for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, MTV, L’Oreal Paris, and more.
A graduate from Cal Lutheran University, she loves discussing brand mascots, TV shows, and the shifting times of pop culture and advertising. Tweet her @howveryheather.