Being stressed out is bad PR for PR professionals

The author argues that stress is among the reasons public relations practitioners aren’t invited to C-suite meetings. Do you agree?

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Yes, I know; take that, neurosurgeons and air traffic controllers!

This year, somehow, it dropped all the way down to No. 7, behind soldiers, firefighters, cops and, um, event planners. (One of those things is not like the other.)

I imagine there’s a group of PR people conspiring to get that ranking back up next year, because here’s a dirty little secret in this profession: People take perverse pride in how stressed out they are. The “We’re No. 2!” factoid has been touted by industry people for as long as I can remember.

I suppose it provides a kind of validation that the work we do is vitally important. Or maybe it’s a defense we use for all of those missed dinners and soccer games for whatever crisis has arisen at the office. “Sorry, honey, you knew when we got married that I work in the second-most-stressful profession!”

But here’s the thing: We are only as stressed out as we choose to be.

Yes, we face a lot of pressures—demanding bosses, mercurial clients, cranky reporters, and the need to bill, bill, bill. As a result, much of what we do is beyond our control. A (literal) tsunami steps on our story.

Our client’s product is recalled. The printer is out of ink.

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