I found out last week, and the Brit and I quietly sat at home chugging on a bottle of champers together. I am pretty ecstatic for a few reasons, but I'd say the main two are because:
1) I have worked my ass off;
2) I changed careers 18 months ago (on moving to London and filling this new position at my existing company), and this was my yardstick for a leap of faith. And knowing I am going in the right direction. Somewhat.
For my first six months in London, there was a lot of doubt and sleepless nights. In fact, there were periods where I seriously wondered whether I'd made a terrible mistake. Almost 30 and having to learn a completely new trade; and the stuff that comes with it, in another country, was a bigger challenge than getting my book deal.
I've always worked within the media industry, as writing has been my craft. (Somewhat. Sometimes.)
I've never stuck to doing the exact same thing, really, but have never meandered far from the media industry or writing of some kind. I've dabbled in copywriting, feature writing, straight news reporting, editing, advertising, and now....I'm in PR. I'm a PR manager for our UK market.
Isn't this a natural progression for many journalists? Maybe.
As much as every writer or journalist admits to crossing over to the 'dark side,' I luckily believe in the products and company I represent to the media. Not all PRs have that luxury.
If you work at an agency, representing a client that sells toilet paper or floor tiles, you're probably going to have a shit time.
One of the biggest challenges in learning this job was getting to know the British media. They are very different from what I know from back home. Cynical. Just one way of describing it.
I have slowly but surely grown to love it, and become confident in what I know and what I present. It's a great industry. It keeps you on your toes. You never know what a new day might bring. For types that get bored quickly (oh hi!), it's a good career choice, as no day is ever the same.
It takes time to harness all the skills necessary to be a 'good' PR. Some skills are easier to gain than others. I think it takes years and years to become and all-round brilliant PR person; you have to experience a lot to be considered an expert in your own right.
There's the proactive side - actively pitching and selling ideas to journalists, (and these can't be crap. If you wish to be taken half seriously), there's the reactive side - fighting fires at any time of the day or night, there's managing executives and launches and press leaks.
Writing anything from blog posts, to briefing notes, to press releases, to FAQs. The ability to network without coming off as a slimy operator. The ability to stay calm in a crisis or raging media storm, even if you're the only calm one.
The ability to explain in newsworthy and layman's terms something that may be very complex or technical.
It's a proper balancing act, and you pretty much multi-task on eight different things at once, all day.
Periods of burn-out happen, in between periods of solid satisfaction. The difficult side to the job is never being able to switch off. Even if you're off duty. You devour news from every angle, emails, everything.
PRs read their mail on the toilet, during a dinner party. You can be sure of that. It's the less rude way of never switching off.
I work at a very inspiring place, in an interesting, busy landscape. With a ruthless media. The last 18 months have been a whirlwind, and the steepest learning curve out of all the things I've had to very quickly adapt to living in England.
A boyfriend, moving in together, the English - just in general - the weather, immigrating. This job has been the thing that has given me sleepless nights, a few more
Although I have started my career in PR later than most, I definitely don't regret making the move.
I was once told - years before I even studied media at university - that PR was the career I needed to go for. Turns out the psychic was actually right. Who knew.
It's Friday. And hark? Is that....SUN? Don't tempt me so, you tempestuous temptress!