Friday, March 07, 2008

Thought for the Day

Be prepared to give more than 100%

Racing takes everything you've got — intellectually, emotionally, physically — and then you have to find about ten percent more and use that too.
- Janet Guthrie


Janet Guthrie's quote on racing could very well apply to working in public relations and journalism, particularly if you're serious about doing a stellar job. If your work calls upon you to toil in crisis communications, as mine does, it is hardly a glamorous occupation. It is hard work, time-consuming and labor-intensive.

If you aspire to work in broadcast news, my first career, be prepared to work long hours and meet multiple deadlines. Understand that there will be times when you must file a report on breaking news with very little information, but somehow sound credible.

The world of journalism is 24/7. Be prepared to work early mornings, nights, weekends, holidays, and 16 to 24 hours straight during a presidential election or crisis - whatever it takes to get the job done. Believe it or not, my PR work has the same demands. Can you say "sleep deprivation"?

For serious journalists and PR professionals, the world of communications is hardly a cakewalk.

Have you worked in a stressful professional? It doesn't have to be media-related. How did you cope? Inquiring minds want to know!

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8 comments:

Shirazi said...

Yes, I understnd this. During my carrer - hectic and very stressfull (emotionally as well physically) - I faced so many situations that were extra ordinary. I once remained on the move for seven days straight, sleeping on the vehicle steering. Emotionally, every thing seemed charged.

As a result, I think I understand things better now.

Alina Popescu said...

Well, it's been a year since becoming PR manager and I can honestly say I agree with you. There are times when i have no idea when I'll get home and when I do, I have to work a little more. I've worked during weekends, when I was supposed to be having a holiday, and that's all just recent stress :)

But I love every minute of it :)

Mobashir Ahmed said...

What can not be cured must be endured! Learn to do so with grace. Play cool. Sift the essentials from non essentials. Delegate responsibility, if you can. I used to follow the last suggestion the most.

Ian Lidster said...

Of course, you and I are in the same area of labor, so we have a natural empathy, and I agree with all that you wrote. Good advice for a novice, especially.
Coping with the stresses? I'm much better than I was when I was younger. In the first place, I no longer drink, which helps a lot. Secondly, I do have some techniques for personally debrieifing. But, I just finished a month-long very intensive contract project a week ago, and I am still having a really difficult time coming down from the intensity of it. It's getting better, but it will take longer than I anticipated.
Oh, and by the way, dear Deb, I love you, too.

Deb S. said...

Shirazi, Alina, Mobashir, and Ian: All of you have energized me with your comments and advice!

Shi: I know what it's like for the days to seem to blur together. And that behind-the-wheel stuff - gosh, let's not go there! I'm sure our experiences differ, but maybe not as much as you think.

Alina: As a PR manager, you DEFINITELY know. Congrats on making it through your first year!

Mobashir: Thanks so much for stopping by. I really enjoyed your site and encourage others to visit. Your advice, by the way, is right on the mark.

The one that really resonates is DELEGATING. I know how to delegate, but sometimes the perfectionist/control freak side of me tries to take over.

Recently, a colleague, sensing that I needed a bit of pampering to get me through the day, went out and bought me my first peppermint mocha latte. I cruised through the rest of the day with a smile.

Ian: You're right. Our experiences are so much alike in many ways. In fact, I'm trying to decompress now after working on several major projects.

The beat goes on. I try to find humor even in the most stressful situations. Laughter is wonderful. So is escaping to the sites of my blogging buddies.

Right now, I'm about to take a bit of advice from my daughter: "Mom, step away from the computer ... NOW."

catatonickid said...

Makes a lot of sense. I've worked in government/politics and that's all about thriving under stress to get to where you can maintain that extra 10%. Coping is often about resourcefulness, and goal-orientation.

I found that I needed to learn to refill my tank very quickly, so switching between modes of thought helped - Eg. swap back and forth between people skills/making connections and research. That way you have efficient 'breaks', and time to refocus.

Rose said...

Hi Deb
Long time no hear or see, except when I saw you on tv putting out a fire. But I think you have to be pretty good at putting out fires to be in this field, and you are pretty good at that. Soon let's meet and I'll get you another peppermint mocha latte.

Deb S. said...

Catatonic Kid: Good advice! There is so much truth and wisdom with what you've shared.

Rose: What a pleasant surprise to hear from the queen of multi-tasking. :-) Peppermint mocha latte?? You're on! Thanks for making my day.