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We find out the worst jobs in PR

Think you have it tough? These PROs have certainly had their bad days …
Life may not be a constant party working in PR, but it could be a lot worse. Here PROs describe some low points in their careers.

The almost good

Rob Forbes, company director at agency Generator PR says that it wasn’t all fun and games working in a theme park:
”My worst job was when I was press officer at Chessington World of Adventures. It would have been an amazing place to work apart from having a tyrant of a PR manager (who has long since moved on) who was a bully and not fit to command. But sometimes you need people like that in your career to show you how not to do it. On the good side, I made friends with loads of interesting characters such as Midge Ure, Daley Thompson, Rula Lenska and 2 unlimited.”

It may be hard for many to understand, but Anne Massey, founder of PR agency The Editorial Consultancy, didn’t enjoy mixing with top footballers:
“One of my nightmare experiences was being sent by the Northern Despatch, at the last moment (so no time to do any research), to interview the 1966 winning World Cup footballers in Bailey's Night Club, Bishop Auckland, when the only team members I recognised were the Charltons (and even then I didn't know which was which). It was very embarrassing having to ask their names. I can't remember what I asked them, but it certainly would have had nothing to do with football. I definitely missed my only chance to become a WAG.”

The bad

Chris Klopper, CEO of agency Mulberry Marketing Communications, has toiled on building sites and almost gagged in a slaughterhouse:
“In the very early days of Mulberry to help finance the business I worked summer evenings and weekends on building sites, mainly digging foundations or running piles of roof tiles up ladders. Never again will I whinge about PR as that was soul-and back-destroying work. Another horrid experience from earlier in my career was when I was a journalist on a food industry trade magazine (imaginatively titled Frozen Foods). I was taken on a press visit to a chicken slaughterhouse in North Wales and had to watch hundreds of hens being slaughtered and then turned into breast fillets, wings, drumsticks, etc. Yuck!”

Kylie Jenkins, senior account executive at specialist travel PR company The Saltmarsh Partnership, found working in a call centre was just the experience she needed to push her into PR:
“After graduating, I spent a year doing work experience and being interviewed to try and break into the world of PR. The interviewing and knock backs were, at times, pretty soul destroying. So I got a temp work placement for a financial services call centre because I needed the cash for a snowboarding trip. I lasted in that office for six weeks. That horrendous job helped me realise that I needed to chase the PR dream to kick start my career. I landed my first job in travel PR in the March of 2006 and I am still here now!”

And the smelly

Tristan Garrick, PR manager of industry body the Direct Marketing Association, really appreciates his job, but then he has known a lot worse:
“I had weekend job working in the warehouse of my local Sainsbury's when I was an A-Level student. I was supposed to unload delivery trucks and then sort the goods for the shelf stackers, but the full-time staff took great pleasure in leaving a whole week's worth of heaving bags of rotting meat and fish heads for me to throw into the rubbish compactor. This literally took hours. The smell and the flies in the warmer months were like something out of a horror film. All for £3.15 per hour. Great days.”

Cleaning up after cats helped Lois McCloud, account manager at PR agency Cirkle, to break into PR:
“I used to work part-time in a cattery. To be fair, I enjoyed it so I can't claim it was my worst job ever. Contrary to what I thought it would be when I applied (lots of playing with kittens) the job involved clearing out litter trays and trying to avoid getting mauled to death by angry cats. Still, it did get me my first break in PR as the owner of the cattery had a daughter who worked for a PR agency. And the rest, as they say, is history.”
 

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