Humor and joy play a key role in PR culture

I’m not going to sugar coat it, a 2019 study released earlier this year found that being a public relations executive is one of the top 10 most stressful jobs. While PR ranked just below three other even more stressful jobs—broadcaster, event planner and newspaper reporter—these are all jobs that a PR professional must know how to do in order to be successful.

PR is not for the faint of heart; however, every single one of us at ECPR loves what we do. When you find a position at a firm that values a good laugh, you hang on to it for dear life. The daily demands of pleasing clients and juggling multiple deadlines requires a good coping mechanism and a tribe that supports it.

At ECPR, we take our work and our clients very seriously, but not ourselves. As PR professionals, we are like chameleons and can adapt to many situations. However, sometimes in the office you just have to let loose. Many of us have a quick wit that we use to cope with stressful situations.

When stress levels rise, expect a funny meme or paper gold star from David Wyatt. On the days that former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd is in the office, you’ll be treated to a visit. Bruce has that politician’s knack for making people feel at ease. He’s deliberate in reaching out to say hello to every employee and it’s delightful. And, if you’re in need of a smile, digital strategist Cynthia Martinez has a steady stream of adorable photos on her dog’s Instagram page that will lift anyone’s spirts.

Brainstorming sessions often lead to good laughs—sometimes it takes some ridiculous ideas to get to a good one—and birthdays are to be celebrated. It’s an ECPR birthday tradition to receive a performance of 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” by two mechanical dancing frogs while eating breakfast tacos.

Embracing humor and joy in the workplace will make you a happier person, and perhaps you’ll live longer. After all, some of the best comedians—such as Dick Van Dyke and Betty White—are thriving into their 90s. Their careers suggest that the best kind of success is made when there’s a little bit of laughter in your day. At ECPR, we couldn’t agree more.

Kat Griffith is a director with Elizabeth Christian Public Relations.

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