Is PR a Job or a Lifestyle?

Full disclosure: As we grow more deeply connected to the PR world, we find ourselves checking our Twitter feeds right before we go to bed every night and right after we wake up every morning to see what’s exciting or irritating our colleagues in the industry. It’s tough to keep up with related developments when we’re not plugged in.

And of course we’re not the only ones who feel that way. Two related stories drew our attention this week: one naming “PR Executive” as the #5 most stressful job in the United States and one declaring that public relations cannot be a traditional 9 to 5 gig.

Seems like those two might be related, doesn’t it?

The point of dbray Media founder David Bray‘s PR Daily article is that the public relations world now moves too fast for us to do our jobs on a traditional office schedule. Like the classic entertainment publicist, we must essentially be available to service our accounts during all waking hours.

It’s almost too obvious: Of course campaigns, crises and the players involved don’t hit “pause” after 5 PM or take the weekend off–the world continues to turn, and our clients continue to need up-to-the-minute service. In fact, Bray implies that technology has rendered the office itself less relevant than ever, and that the winning agencies of the future will not compose their client teams in the traditional way. They won’t really be “agencies” at all: they’ll be groups of communications professionals who are almost never in the same place at the same time (unless they’re making presentations to clients).

We don’t know if we’d go quite go that far, but we agree that success in PR today is all about finding a balance between the traditional leave-at-5 cubicle model and the slightly insane, always-on way of doing things that turns iPhones into fifth limbs and sees a good night’s sleep as a 20th century relic.

Let us know, readers: Do you find yourselves working after traditional office hours and doing your jobs remotely more often? Do you take more of the work home with you every weekend?

Most importantly, do you think PR will eventually outgrow the very idea of the “agency?”