PR Can Be Stressful – Here are 5 Ways B&O Is Reducing the Strain….

Did you know that public relations executives have the 6th most stressful job in America? Under constant pressure and tight deadlines, it’s no secret that PR professionals feel overwhelmed from time to time (insert that collective SIGH here). So how can we learn to manage stress, avoid mental fatigue, and be happier overall at work?

Credit: AndreyPopov, Thinkstock
Credit: AndreyPopov, Thinkstock

You might think a viable solution to preventing all this stress would be to plan ahead and predict our daily schedules more effectively. But PR is a spur-of-the-moment industry, and the need to manage a constantly evolving news cycle often prevents said planning from happening in an organized fashion. Hence, it’s critical that PR workplaces continually seek out creative ways to help combat stress.

Stopping mental fatigue – a phenomenon caused “by an inability of the fatigued subject to allocate attention efficiently” (ERP study) – and stress in their tracks is where PR professionals need to focus their energy. “It’s preventative medicine,” said Jane Buckingham, CEO of trend forecasting and media firm Trendera in a recent Adweek article. “Studies show that meditation and living healthy lives make people more productive. They’re less frazzled by heavy workloads; they’re less likely to be overwhelmed…” And they’re therefore more likely to jump on tasks faster and with more energy and eagerness than before.

So let’s get down to it: What stress-reducing measures has B&O implemented in the workplace that work for us? Here are a few:

  1. Bouncy exercise balls and standing desks: Along with reducing stress, bouncy balls and standing desks can give you a break from the evil desk chair, which can literally kill you. The Washington Post released a troubling article last year detailing the excess of health problems desk chairs cause including heart disease, over productive pancreas, colon cancer, muscle degeneration, poor circulation in legs, soft bones…to name just a few. Bouncy balls reduce mental fatigue by forcing muscles to balance and thus pump fresh blood and oxygen through the brain, reducing brain fog. Fast Company’s recent scientific research on standing desks indicates they have resulted in some clear physiological health benefits, including increased energy expenditure and an average heart rate increase of 8 beats per minute. Not to mention, they are simply fun and often the source of other workplace hijinks – including bouncy ball basketball.
  2. Encouraging stress-reducing moments in daily PR life: Yes, we are all super busy, but taking a few minutes to regenerate can pay off when it comes to boosting productivity and creativity. And that’s exactly why we have massage days every couple of months. To say they are popular would be an understatement. Not to mention, we are huge fans of an afternoon run for coffee, iced tea, whatever your pleasure. But really it’s less about the drinks than the stroll out in the fresh air and the conversation with colleagues that rejuvenates you and gets you ready for that next task ahead. Lastly, it is not uncommon to see that all office email go around with a hilarious cat or goat video. After all, nothing lightens the mood or brings a laugh like goats dubbed into Taylor Swift videos.
  3. Plan fun activities employees can look forward to: Good, clean happy hours … a definite key to reducing stress. While Inc. goes so far as to say beer can make you smarter, the #1 reason to plan these events is so employees have something fun to look forward to when moments of stress kick in during the workday. Aside from happy hours, B&O is known for its legendary events – from Valentingo to St. Patty’s Day Olympics.
  4. WFH Fridays: Ah, it’s just before the weekend, so what better reward after a long week than to stay home and complete your work from the comfort of your own place? Working from home eliminates the commute, traffic, and provides employees with that work/home balance they crave … not to mention the option of staying in your pajamas until noon and working alongside your pet is always a priceless benefit.
  5. Monthly Fitness Reimbursement: It’s no secret that gym memberships can prove expensive, and while the benefits of reimbursing employees for monthly gym fees are clear, employers benefit as well: when employees exercise and eat better, morale improves, productivity increases, and healthcare costs go down.

These are just a few of the great perks that accompany B&O’s fantastic wellness and healthcare benefits. And one thing is for certain: the implementation of these initiatives is crucial to our success in this constantly changing, fast-paced world of PR that, for better or worse, we love.

Wait! What? 6/5: Swipe right for funding; Google’s magical ocean view

Thinkstock Photos
Thinkstock Photos

While you were busy gawking at #CaitlynJenner’s new following (2.3 million fans on Twitter — more than Obama), we were catching up on some crazy tech news you might have missed. Here it is:

  • Be prepared for excessive temptation to kick in: Instagram just launched a Shop Now button, allowing users to shop outside the app with a click. All of those #filtered photographs just got so much more enticing.
  • Ever wondered what lies in the deep, dark depths of the ocean? Thanks to Google Maps Street View Oceans, you can now see spinner dolphins, humpback whales, giant turtles… and gain access to 70% of the untapped territory on our planet.
  • Better Re: The solution to all panic caused by dead or dying phones. Just pop an old battery inside Better Re and it becomes a portable charger for anything that uses a USB cable.
  • Swipe right for…potential equity crowdfunding investment opportunities? Unusual matchmaking app Tendr launched in the U.K. on Wednesday. It allows investors to “star” investment opportunities, promising to remove friction and thereby increase efficiency in deal sourcing.
  • Finally, meet Huggable, the robotic teddy bear. He’s a high-tech puppet that lives in pediatric hospitals to help alleviate anxiety, pain and isolation. He can even talk and play with patients with the aid of a remote operator. Touching, but also further evidence robots will be taking over in the near future.

And that concludes this week’s news bites. Go out and celebrate the first weekend of June with some time on the beach. Or at least enjoy the ocean through the lens of Google Street View. See you next Friday!

Wait! What? 4/10: Apple diversifies emojis, Sparks fly between Tinder and Bud Light

#InclusiveEmojis, courtesy of Apple.
#InclusiveEmojis, courtesy of Apple.

Happy Friday and first weekend of Coachella! Maybe you’re mentally/physically preparing for a weekend at the happiest and most branded place on the planet, or maybe you’re just ready to kick back and enjoy a drink or two (you deserve it) in a more relaxing setting. Either way, here’s the tech news of the week you need to know:

  • iOS 8.3 is here and Apple pleasantly surprises us with hundreds of new emojis to reflect various races of people across the globe. All goes well until Clorox gets involved on Twitter…
  • Speaking of Twitter, they’re just killin’ it with the new tweet within a tweet. This feature allows people to share and comment on tweets without having to shorten the original tweet, thus preserving meaning and context. We’re into it.
  • Want to take a trip to Whatever, USA? Bud Light introduces native videos to Tinder, tempting users to swipe right for Bud Light for a chance to win. If you’re #UpForWhatever, at least that’s one match that can offer some potential.
  • Hulu has provided users a catalog of GIFs from its TV shows, which in theory sounds thrilling. But branded with a Hulu hashtag, accompanied by a disclaimer, and created with a choppy frame-rate, we just can’t recognize these as the GIFs we know and love.
  • Brands have been flocking to the baby of Siri and promoted tweets, otherwise known as ads on Kik. The app lets consumers get cozy and engage with brands through messaging. Are these conversations more engaging than your Tinder ones? Hard to say.

And that concludes this week’s #WaitWhat. If nothing else I hope we have at least inspired you to take your dating app game to the next level this weekend. See you next Friday!