I love a good statistic. I'm always the first one at a party to remind everyone that a British office worker drinks an average of four cups of tea a day, or that 48% of men cry in the cinema, and my new favourite one, that 91% of people who read my last blog got in touch to tell me that I really didn't know God properly. The issue with facts and figures is they are never 100% accurate, I mean how can they be, with a global population of 6,973,738,434? (I don't even believe that number) .
This week the 'Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2013' was announced. The top four were:
- Enlisted military personnel
- Military general
- Commercial airplane pilot
And the bottom five of the top ten were:
- Senior corporate executive
- Newspaper reporter
- Taxi driver
- Police officer
So what was number five? It was 'PR executive'. Being said PR executive I'm honoured that I'm in a list with people who risk their lives daily, aid in running corporations and put out fires and occasionally rescue the odd cat.
But, PRs don't need to be on there. This is why I don't understand where these people get their facts from, did they only speak to PR execs of those foul mouthed celebrities who keep 'accidentally' pissing everyone off on Twitter, or was it just a general chat with Mitt Romney's team? PR is not one of the most stressful jobs in the world, and let me tell you why.
Firstly, I don't ever get shipped out to Iraq or Afghanistan to represent Queen and Country. Secondly, there is rarely a moment in my job where I have to pick up four drunken 18-year-olds and take them to the closest McDonalds at three o'clock in the morning whilst having to endure questions such as "Has it been a busy night?" or "Is this a flying carpet?" Thirdly, my boss has never asked me to arrest anyone who might be concealing a deadly weapon. Why is this? Because I work in PR, and though it's stressful, there is never a moment that I have to risk my own life.
I'm not for one minute demeaning the work of any PR, we work hard, we have long hours, tight deadlines and crisises to deal with. We constantly monitor the press, are always on the phone to journalists and would do anything (within reason) to keep our clients happy. There have been days were a journalist has called at 18.00 wanting a quote and gives you five minutes to get it, even though you know that your client is in Singapore and asleep, or a client emails just when you put on your jacket looking for an immediate press release. But does that mean that is as stressful as a solider, firefighter or pilot? No.
Next year, when they are conducting their 'in depth' survey of 'The Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2014' it might be a good idea to include doctors, nurses, volunteers. The people that are usually under more stress that PRs and photojournalists combined.
But until then, I'm off to have a cup of Earl Grey to calm myself down, and leave you with an astounding fact that a quarter of children can't recognise a raspberry or a cherry, and one in five don't know what a melon looks like.