Friday, May 15, 2009

Months of calm and moments of terror

Most of the time life as a PR agency person is a relatively smooth existance. Yes, you manage an ever changing influx of workload and often everything needs doing for every client at the same time but it balances out of the course of the week, the month and the year - the juggling of which is something I imagine we share with our journo friends who have a more extreme version of this exhilaration and exhaustion around deadline time.

But then, once in a blue moon, something big hits - really big. It might come like a bolt from the blue but immediately your senses snap to attention and PR overdrive kicks in. Anyone who's been in the game longer than a hot minute knows what I'm talking about - it might be a crisis, big financial news, a disaster, a product recall, the death or departure of a company leader - but no matter what it is it's those moments that make being a PR practitioner the best (and worst) job in the world.

Once upon a time I worked with an insurance company and a well flung expression in their organisation was "months of calm with moments of terror". And since then nothing else has summed it up quite the same for me. For them it was 99 percent of the time everything was a ship sailing on smooth seas, then one percent of the time was a mad scramble inspired often by natural disasters around the world to bring the ship back to even keel. And it was the one percent of the time I loved the most! The CEO probably didn't but heck it kept the rest of us on our toes.
So as much as we might whinge temporarily about a little lack of sleep or sudden shift in schedule, I'd like to think that most of us red blooded PR people out there love a good "moment of terror" - just so long as it passes within a week or two :)!

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