Procrastinators Beware: The PR industry will eat you alive

Due to the combination of classes and my job I have to budget my time accordingly. Shamefully I don’t always do so. However, working while being in school fulltime I have come to realize and appreciate that it’s just preparing me for a job in PR.

Arik Hanson wrote a great article in the PR Daily about some of the stereotypes in PR. Just for fun, the one I found most interesting/surprising was that not all PR people are super outgoing. In fact, some of the best are introverts. Who knew? However, just as I suspected the stereotype that “PR pros are hyper-organized” is true (

It’s not surprising that PR pros must be organized because deadlines and timing for those deadlines can make or break communication opportunities. For example, an event announcement news release needs to be sent out and hopefully published in a certain time frame as defined in the communication plan. If the news release misses that deadline, well obviously communication efforts would be unsuccessful but if it’s submitted too early the same results would occur.

Likewise, deadlines are directly related to time management skills. Time-management is more than keeping a detailed calendar. Time-management means actually following through with deadlines and meeting goals. That last step is one that people (procrastinators) tend to forget. However, unlike other professions, deadlines for PR can be multiplied by ten as far as difficulty.

Time-management skills must be finely tuned and ready for surprise situations to arise at any moment. Situations can occur in a split second with today’s technology and PR pros sometimes only have a matter of hours to submit a statement, such as the case of American Airlines vs. Alec Baldwin. I applaud American Airlines for their quick response on Twitter to Alec Baldwin’s tweets.

Good timing made all of the difference for American Airlines unlike Netflix’s price hike fiasco. Netflix waited two months to respond, which is outrageous during this age of 24-hour news cycles.

On the other hand, this pressure to produce with such a short deadline is the reason I enjoy PR. It’s an adrenaline rush and definitely keeps you on your toes. Not everyone can handle the pressure and would cave. Your client’s reputation and basically life is in your hands.

Personally, I enjoy the challenge and maybe even control. Maybe that’s why the ratio of women to men in the PR industry is somewhere around 4 to 1 ( Well whatever the reason it doesn’t matter. What does is that you overcome procrastination and embrace the pressure.

“Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today”- Thomas Jefferson


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