How often do you help yourself as a PR professional?

Oh Friday, here you are all shiny and waiting to take us forward to the weekend.

I don’t know how your week has gone, but for me it’s been a whirlwind of media relations, new client calls as well as some training and coaching.

Factor in admin, reports, two kids, a husband with his own business, two dogs and general family life and it’s been vibrant to say the least.

However, I have not felt stressed.

I haven’t been overwhelmed.

My mood has been high and my responses to one or two issues that have flown into my inbox have been measured and collected.

Have I always been this way, no!Having worked in the world of PR for the past 23 years there have been times when the stress has been a bubbling pot just waiting to boil over, the doubts about my abilities have camped out on the sidelines and keep a clear focus hasn’t always happened.

That of course is totally natural but at the time I would beat myself up about not having my s%%t together and constantly strive to be the perfect PR.

At one point I was heading up the EMEA PR for a major TV company and while I didn’t have kids at the time, managing 12 agencies across three times zones, having to report into the US and constantly being on a plane, in a hotel or on the road was one hell of an aderneline ride and the pressure to perform at 110% all the time was full on.

The thing is, this can only go for so long before you start to feel jaded.Those late night drinks (maybe over Zoom rather than in a bar right now) will only take the edge for so long.

Endless to do lists can actually take up more brain space than doing the tasks that have been staring at you from the page for the past month.Email after email can raise your anxiety lesson and when those are mainly out of office replies from contacts you knew would be of interest in your client’s story, your heart can sink with disappointment.

Why am I telling you something you already know about?Well, I know you know that stress isn’t good for you, but I also know that sometimes we need someone to come along and check we are OK.

That we are dealing with the pressures from clients, press, influencers and bosses and see that while we need to do our best, that our best is good enough.

That someone does have your back and knows that you are doing your best to tread the corona current and all that throws at you.I sent out a media request earlier this week asking for PR people to be interviewed as part of a new project I am working on.

To talk about their day, their life, their career and their mental wellbeing.I have over 200 people to go back to and set up interviews with.200!I now know what journalists feel like when they send out a Response Source for an expert and then watch their inbox fill with eager PRs wanting to help.

And you see, helping is what we do in the PR world.

We help clients get their stories right.We help journalists with comments and quotes.

We help organise mail outs to bloggers.

We help picture desks get the best images for features.

While we are great at all of this, we aren’t so good at helping ourselves.

When was the last time you helped you?

Drank a hot cup of coffee?

Made yourself a real lunch?

Actually read a copy of Red rather than flicking through it to see if your biggest client actually made the cut in that issue?

Celebrated your wins?

Treated yourself to something new, just because?

This weekend I would love you to help yourself.

Have a lie in.

Go for breakfast at a local coffee shop.

Read a book.

Listen to that podcast.

Shop for some new trainers – because who doesn’t love a new pair of fresh white kicks – maybe to replace the ones that were splashed with foundation after a glass bottle was smashed on the bathroom tiles?

Sit on the beach.

Phone a friend you have been meaning to catch up with.

Whatever it is, think about you and do something to help yourself, and if you can, don’t do any work this weekend, that list will still be there on Monday.

If you would like to know more about my work as a coach for PR professionals, do check out the website and you might be interested in my new, 12 week coaching and mentoring programme that will help you put in the driving seat of your career and your life and will get you to think about helping yourself more often.

Have a great weekend.

Natalie x

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