Above all, be ORGANIZED
Between juggling multiple accounts, upcoming TV/radio segments and organizing countless interviews, it is important that nothing ever falls through the cracks. Whether you live in your outlook calendar, make to-do lists on napkins or have a beautifully bulleted agenda, just make sure you have your “you know what” together.
Learn to love the multitasking
If you don’t enjoy the thrill of having your heart race and thinking multiple times a day, “how am I possibly going to get all of this done?”, then you are in the wrong field. You need to learn to love the multitasking and the hectic environment, or else it will swallow you. My advice? Take a deep breath, splash some cold water on your face, (stomp around in the alley outside your office if need be), and eat something covered in chocolate, because it is all going to be okay.
Manage your time
One of the most-said phrases here at the agency is, “Is this pressing?”, and we live by that. You need to learn how to prioritize what is most important, and that needs to get done first. Sometimes you won’t even touch your to-do list for the day because there are constant “fire drills”, as we like to call them. You need to learn to shuffle things around and tackle them in an order that makes the most sense. It’s all a dance.
Be creative and think on your feet
Nothing can save a struggling account more than one out-of-the-box creative idea. Sometimes as publicists we need to make a mountain out of a mole hill in order to get press coverage. Whether it be a huge publicity stunt, a tie-in with a recent trending hashtag (cough, #covfefe), or unique partnership, the creativity never hurts.
Be a forward thinker
When the first snowfall hits the ground, everyone starts thinking about the holiday season that is just around the corner… except publicists. We have been thinking about Christmas since July. Working with long-lead magazines means that you are pitching things months and months in advance. Even if your client thinks you are nuts for asking about Thanksgiving menus in June, just know that you always need to be looking ahead if you want to successfully impact business for the upcoming season.
Remember to unplug and take a step back
The reason that Public Relations is usually ranked as one of the top stressful career fields in the country… is because it is stressful as hell. Aside from essentially doing Lamaze breathing at your desk every day in order to relax, you need to remember to take time for yourself once in a while to “unplug”. A typo in a pitch or accidentally calling a reporter by the wrong name can keep you up at night, but just remember to put it all in perspective: At least you didn’t make a mistake when you were doing heart surgery.
Learn to take a different perspective
When you are working directly with a client who has put so much time, money, and passion into a business, something that may seem small or trivial to you may actually be very important to them. Try and look at every situation from both sides. You don’t need to always hold a client’s hand, but you do need to understand that as a publicist, you are a trusted business partner. You are expected to listen, understand, and help positively impact their business.
It may be stressful at times… but honestly, is there anything else you would rather be doing? There is no other job where you would be chatting with People Magazine at 9am, heading to a photoshoot on a rooftop bar at 3pm, and catching the opening press night of a new hit show at 8pm. Every day is different and every day brings a new challenge. Also… publicists drink a lot of wine.