33 (more) signs you work in PR

No. 20: ‘Caffeine and alcohol, in that order.’ If you can relate, there’s a good chance you work in public relations.

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This story first appeared on PR Daily in January.

Public relations is a notoriously stressful career.

This year it earned the rank of seventh-most stressful job in America, a drop from last year when it was No. 2—ahead of airline pilots. To which I beg to differ. Lives are not in our hands, after all.

Of course, PR can be stressful. We are, for the most part, at the mercy of forces beyond our control. The right pitch has to edge up against the right timing and the right reporter for any great placement to happen.

It takes a certain kind of personality to thrive in public relations. Read any PR job listing, and you’ll see requirements such as: detail-oriented, excellent writing skills, multitasker, organized, energetic, blah blah blah…

Yes, PR people must embody these traits, but excelling at PR requires a number of intangibles. It’s a gut feeling we’re looking for when we interview candidates; it just cannot be quantified in a job posting.

To provide a better sense of what those intangibles are, here’s a list of 33 signs that you work in public social media and PR:

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