As you can imagine, agency life is exceptionally eventful, fast paced, and extremely rewarding. Unlike other areas of public relations, you are constantly working with numerous clients in a wide array of industries. A typical work week can vary depending on deadline, events, client projects, and journalists’ needs—no two weeks are ever the same. Often, you may be working on several accounts at a time; each requiring just as much attention as the others. Being able to effectively allocate enough time to each account is essential to meeting client’s needs and exceeding expectations.
Due to the fast paced atmosphere, it is imperative to think quickly on your feet. The flair to provide swift and meticulous responses and work at the drop of a hat comes from a true understanding of the evolving industry and your client’s business. As agency people, we are constantly researching, keeping with the news and latest trends, and bringing new, unique ideas to the table. The work environment is extremely conducive to learning and collaboration—and while there may be a laid back feel, people are constantly working hard to stay ahead of the game.
What kinds of things would you expect to do working for a PR agency?
While general tasks may vary based on the client, agency work in PR does involve a great deal of pitching, writing, planning, creating, and collaboration! Agency pros are regularly educating the media and the public on a wide variety of topics by effectively sharing stories in a compelling manner. My work involves consistently developing newsworthy and unique angles to pitch to the media, educating clients on social media and Web 2.0, landing placements in targeted platforms to ensure the message is reaching the right people, and much more. Taking the time to do thorough research and personalize your correspondences with editors and journalists is vital to developing great relationships. In my experience, I have come to recognize and develop several skills needed for success in an agency: persistency, organization, urgency, commitment and the ability to multi-task are just a few.
What kinds of challenges could you face working for a PR agency?
Regardless of your industry, challenges are something we face each and every day. A few challenges in the agency work include:
- Keeping up with not only the public relations industry, but the industries of our clients
- Work and life balance is a bit tricky- especially with the amount of professional development needed at any level
- Pressure to bring cutting-edge ideas to our clients on a consistent basis
- Staying atop the evolution of technology and ensuring integration when necessary
- Being able to deliver metrics and accurate measurement of our efforts
- Helping clients and potential new business prospects understand our industry’s work and value
- Multi-tasking between current accounts and potential new business
What kinds of courses would be beneficial to someone working for a PR agency?
Outside of the general courses in PR and Journalism, courses in
- public speaking
- various cultures and second languages
Adrienne Bailey, Account Executive at Y&L PR- a division of Young and Laramore, 2009 Butler University graduate.