Reasons Why I’m Thankful to Be Working in PR Today

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Today we bring you a guest post by Jennifer Leckstrom, an account supervisor with Hoboken, New Jersey’s RoseComm.

I don’t know about you, but my Facebook newsfeed is filled with workplace drama, whether it’s friends complaining about their bosses or about their colleagues missing deadlines (and even stealing their sandwiches). There’s an entire subgenre of blogs dedicated to the types of clients no one wants on their agency roster. People love complaining about work, and our industry is no different. Who wouldn’t find something to grumble about in a career that tops “most stressful” job lists year after year?

But let’s save the bitching for another day. With Thanksgiving right around the corner (and, um, when did that happen?), I started thinking about the reasons I’m thankful for a career in PR.

Here are just a few.

Communications is ever-evolving

I remember the first time I wrote a bio for our agency website; I was bummed about having relatively little experience. Our managing director told me not to worry — before I knew it, I’d have a decade under my belt. In her usual fashion, she was spot-on…and what an amazing decade it’s been.

We’ve seen the media landscape change at an incredibly rapid pace. The advent of social media and popularity of blogging coupled with new technologies have forever altered how people obtain their news and communicate, meaning it also shifted how and where PR professionals work. Many accountants are still crunching numbers in the same old way, but the world in which PR people work is changing at so quickly we can barely track it.

In the time it took you to read this paragraph, Facebook (probably) made more changes to its algorithm.

PR is no longer a stepchild

Remember the days PR would always get the short end of the stick when presenting with their marketing and advertising colleagues? No more.

Shifts in the marketplace mean brand awareness is no longer simply about a shiny new ad campaign. Today, many big brands turn first to PR to get their message heard. Public relations has become the most effective and efficient way to build a brand and, in an era of penny-pinching, the fact that it can be done on a smaller budget certainly doesn’t hurt.

Agency life is never dull

Before I joined RoseComm, I worked in academia. The work was interesting, but it turned monotonous pretty quickly. For the duration of my time at the university, I was telling the same story year after year and continuously working with the identical group of spokespeople.

Since starting at the agency, however, I’ve been exposed to a number of industries that are completely new to me — from the manufacture of commercial playground equipment to healthcare and helping raise awareness of breast cancer treatment opportunities to fleet management. I was even shot by one of our clients with an M16 and lived to tell about it (ah, the beauty of non-lethal training ammunition!).

The point: I’m more well-rounded both personally and professionally because of the work we do on a daily basis. Clients may come and go, but the lessons learned from interacting with so many different people have contributed to a store of knowledge I’ll retain for the rest of my life.

Sure, I have my complaints — we all do. But for me, 99 percent of the time, the good far outweighs the bad. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with creative, caring and inspiring colleagues who push me every day to do better for our clients and myself. The work is always changing, challenging and, at the end of the day, rewarding.

What do you value about working in the PR industry?

Jennifer Leckstrom is an account supervisor with RoseComm, a strategic communications firm that helps clients uncover and share their stories with the people who matter most.