Huh? PR makes "most stressful job" list

Jeff Morosoff, Asst. Professor/Public Relations, Hofstra University

A very happy and healthy New Year to my PR family! has come up with its “10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2012”. I usually dislike these lists because they’re often created to generate controversy and, subsequently, publicity opportunities (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But at number seven is “public relations executive.” Since PR made the list, it warrants discussion here.’s methodology awards points for 11 specific areas of potential stress. They are: amount of travel, growth potential, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, own life at risk, life of another at risk, and meeting the public. The resulting list has “public relations executive” following (in order): enlisted soldier, firefighter, pilot, military general, police officer, and event coordinator. After “PR exec” the most stressful jobs are corporate executive, photo journalist, and taxi driver. Based on the comments throughout this article, there’s no lack of controversy about this list.

So why all this stress? According to the site, “Public Relations Officers are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive image with the public for companies, non-profits and government agencies. They typically are responsible for giving presentations and making speeches, often in front of large crowds. This very competitive field, which often includes highly visible, tight deadlines, keeps stress at high-levels for specialists. Some PR executives are required to interact with potentially hostile members of the media, especially after a disaster.” The authors have also calculated the average salary of the PR exec to be $91,810. No word on how they came up with that number.

This leaves me to wonder: Apart from my own experiences, do my colleagues see PR as stressful enough to be listed just under cops, soldiers and pilots? And what about that salary? My comments on all this will follow yours when I write again next week. For now, your thoughts?


2 thoughts on “Huh? PR makes "most stressful job" list

  1. Matt Garcia

    I can definitely see why PR professionals would be on the list of the most stressful jobs. Through many PR blunders before, we have all seen how badly a company’s reputation can be affected by bad PR. As the PR pros who represent the world’s largest companies hold up the reputation on their back, I can definitely see why the stress would take over on occasion.


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