PR seems like a sexy field, am I right? If your older like me, then you think of Samantha from Sex in the City and her high rolling lifestyle. She got into all the best parties and represented the coolest people. Maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of Olivia Pope, she was a wizard at getting her clients out of sticky situations – not to mention her wardrobe. If these were my only examples of publicists, I would pursue a career in public relations as well.
Let me introduce to you, Harried Harriet, a true representation of a PR pro. She was nice enough to spend a bit of time answering our questions.
Time you wake up:
I don’t sleep
Amount of hours on Twitter stalking reporters:
I stopped tracking at 10
Pitches sent during the week:
Is this even a legit question? Like there is a set amount.
Emails sent per day:
1,000 – is that a lot?
Media lists in Muck Rack:
55…for one client.
Last time you showered:
Luckily hygiene doesn’t impact my effectiveness.
Who is a realistic representation of publicists? Olivia Pope or Samantha Jones?
How often do you have to explain how PR works to clients?
Every single day of my life. Get 2 pieces of coverage, they want 4. It’s never good enough, and they don’t seem to understand the time that goes into building a media list, researching reporters, reading past articles, engaging on social media and creating individual pitches for EVERY single reporter you reach out to. If you sent 50 emails in one day, how long would that take you? Now imagine having to customize every single email, track it and plan for follow-up.
What is one thing you want people to know about working in PR?
It’s hard, like really hard. This isn’t a new number but less than 2% of pitches are picked up and the current media landscape is COVID, election and politics, so it’s even harder now.
How do you stand out?
You hustle harder than anyone else. Is it hard as hell? Yes, is it rewarding? Hell yeah. If you are drawn to a 9 to 5 job, this ain’t the right field for you.
What is the current industry like?
Journalists have fewer resources to do their jobs and are pulled in multiple directions. PR pros are often not viewed in a favorable light and instead of treating us with respect, as we do them, responses are often argumentative, combative and rude. You need to have tough skin to work in this industry.
What are you reading?
I follow Gini Dietrich, Michael Smart and every major news source to stay up-to-date.
Any other words of wisdom?
Don’t give up, it can be frustrating at times but perseverance is key.
Still want to be in the PR field?