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Ugh, remind me again why I check my blackberry at 10:00 o’clock at night? I know that I am running the risk of encountering a work e-mail, which likely will result in another restless night and a step closer to my bottle of sleeping pills.
But, I did it; I read the e-mail, a very nasty e-mail at that. A segment I pitched for a client went terribly wrong because, as you know, the media has creative license to produce whatever type of story it wants. Sometimes this works in our favor, sometimes it doesn’t.
The client was very unhappy, and boy, did I hear about it! I cried. That’s right, I cried a lot. I know as a publicist, you aren’t supposed to take things personally, but I do.
In fact, I guess you could say I’m an overly sensitive person.
Whether it’s screaming reporters, rude clients, shouting bosses or the general frustration of pitching, as a publicist you are expected to put on your brave face and just grin and bare it.
But at the end of the day, when I’m at home, behind closed doors, that tough façade breaks down. I am left confused, upset and wondering to myself: is a job in public relations right for me?
Granted, on the scale between one and ten (ten being a total emotional wuss), I place myself at a nine. I envy those publicists that aren’t bothered by the stress, the yelling, the segments gone awry.
Here today, I admit that I am affected by those things, and I think that there are others out there like me.
Crying isn’t a popular topic amongst the PR discussion circles. Why? Perhaps it’s because we are embarrassed, or it is the fact that we don’t want our employer (or future employer) to think any less of us. Maybe we are just afraid that others will assume we can’t handle our jobs.
I know it’s easy to tell someone “Hey, just shrug it off,” but that is just another case of easier said than done. I always thought that my emotions would be the downfall of my career, and it has definitely not been an easy battle to fight.
However, I think the fact that I care so much, maybe too much, means that I am a good publicist. If my client isn’t happy, I want to find out why and work towards a resolution.
I want to do the best job I can possibly do. If I accidentally send an e-mail to the wrong person, I get mad at myself and then vow to never make that mistake again. What I’m trying to do is be a better publicist than I was the day before.
This wasn’t meant as a “woe is me” post. My intent was to spark the conversation, to say, “Hey, it’s okay to cry and not be ashamed.” While you may feel humiliated and others see crying as a weakness; just know that you aren’t alone.
No matter how many tissue boxes I go through, I march on. At the end of the day, when I’m sitting behind my closed doors, my eyes filled with tears, I can’t think of another job that is as challenging, as exciting and ultimately as enlightening as public relations.
So, I want to hear your story. Are you an emotional publicist? Do you think that it helps or hinder your ability to do your job?