CareerCast, an online site for job seekers, says that public relations jobs are among the most stressful.  Why is that?

I have had my own public relations firm for 41 years and I know the reason we’re stressed.  Our bosses.

It isn’t that we have bad bosses, they just expect a lot and they don’t understand public relations.  Even if your boss has been in public relations or is in public relations s/he seems to forget that what they are asking you to do is nearly impossible.

And if, like me, your bosses are your clients, they don’t understand public relations, they don’t know what they’re asking and they don’t understand why you can’t deliver exactly what they want.  Plus the fact that they don’t communicate with you on a regular basis, but they expect you to know what you need to know to get the job done.  There are exceptions.

We pass our stress on to the workers below us.  A client yells at us, we yell at the team that services that client.  And we’re put in the uncomfortable and often no-win spot of telling the client s/he is wrong, is mistreating the team or resigning the business.  That is stressful.

I keep thinking that bosses will understand that what they’re asking A) doesn’t solve the problem, B) won’t work or C) can’t be accomplished.  That is endemic in corporation because the big boss doesn’t get public relations either.

How do we solve the problem?  Perhaps teaching public relations in business schools is a beginning, but that takes time.  Educating clients?  Easier said than done.  Oh well, maybe nothing can be done – we’ll just continue to be stressed.

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