The 8 hour day?

July 3, 2007

Last weekend I sat down with a friend who is a fast streamer in the Civil Service and explained why I hadn’t been able to meet for ‘that after work beer’ as I had promised to do months ago. To my utter incredulity, my so-called friend replied that he had been offended that it had taken me so long to get back to him considering my ‘PR lifestyle’. 

PR is an industry that desperately needs some of its own communications advice. Most of my University friends (Lawyers, Management consultants, Teachers etc) imagine that I roll into work at 9ish (hung-over) and leave again at 4.55 for the next party. Another friend asked me last week how I got any work done with all the ‘schmoozing’ that I must do?! 

Maybe it’s just me? Maybe the rest of my contemporaries within the industry are passing through their graduate schemes through a haze of coke (zero or otherwise) and champagne? But if they are, I wish they’d stop, because it’s giving the rest of us (who actually put in the early mornings and late nights) a bad name. 

Is there an average amount of time a PR work week is expected to last? Does it differ between financial and consumer? Maybe the ‘PR’ lifestyle is more associated with in-house roles rather than us agency folk? 

Air kissing aside, it’s time for PR graduates to reclaim the PR stereotype type cast by Joanna Lumley, and in true PR terminology, get the key messages out. 

PR is a great industry to work in, is more interesting that anything my friends do and after a couple of years, PR is as well paid as even the most glamorous of careers (apart from maybe Law!).

Career anxiety or genuine grievance? I’d be interested to hear the opinions

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One Response to “The 8 hour day?”

  1. Deuce Bigalow Says:

    I work for a PR agency that specialise in media and entertainment and rarely find myself leaving the office before 6.30pm and no I do not roll into work at 10am recovering from the preceding night’s drunken activities.
    I completely agree that many PROs and agencies don’t actively PR themselves. My experience is that I have so little time to actively ‘network’ due to the constant demands that my clients put on me for immediate results. I try to look at the bigger picture in terms of what results a networking event or simple socialising with similar professionals will produce many months down the road. I believe that most clients are relatively unaware of what PR is actually all about. They don’t realise that they are paying for the relationships that we have with our contacts as much as the contacts themselves.
    The MD of my agency actually suggests on a regular basis that we need to get better at networking. Sometimes I have to remind her that I’d love to have the opportunity to do that if I didn’t have a million other things to do for the client that they expect to see the results from the following day.
    I think a lot of young PROs, I’m only 25, love the idea of the late night parties etc. However the reality is that it has to be appraoched in a very professional manner too. My idea of networking isn’t going out and getting blind drunk and waking up with a bunch of business cards in my pocket that, A, I struggle to remember who gave them to me, and B, I’m too embarassed to contact them after they saw me stumbling out of the bar and spilling kebab sauce down my shirt.
    Having said that, it can be beneficial to be able to ‘bribe’ one of your contacts to do something for you under the premise that you might post a photo of them having a lap dance with a soho cross desser last friday night on Facebook.
    Anyone been out with the boys from Loaded magazine, they are truely wild ones!


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