I’m a big fan of agency work and know firsthand how an agency can provide valuable, practical experience … not to mention, build your resume!
But most students don’t know what agency life actually looks like..
1. I learned early on that you have to write a solid strategy for a campaign to run smoothly. The strategy should guide every story you pitch and every Tweet you, well, Tweet. if it’s not driving to the organization’s goals, it’s just wasted energy. Also, if you can’t make it happen, don’t put it in the strategy!
2. Get comfortable creating a website, setting up a Facebook page, laying out a newsletter, creating a badass PowerPoint, chatting with media, and that’s definitely not the end of the list! If you don’t know how to do something, figure out how to get it done.
3. The first time I had more than one deadline in a day I wanted to cry—all day. Hone your time management skills. Also, get comfortable explaining to account managers why their project isn’t a priority right now. They never want to hear it, but in the end they appreciate the heads-up.
4. You’ll be working on many clients, sometimes in totally different fields. You might have to switch from mining lingo to consumer-product pitching to CEO ghostwriter at the drop of a hat. Immerse yourself in any previously developed communications materials for each and every client—don’t forget, it’s their voice, not yours.
5. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Part of the draw of hiring an agency is to get an abundance of new ideas and creative approaches. Not all of your brilliant ideas will be executed, and you will be sad, but at least the client knows the agency they’ve hired is coming up with new ways to tell their story.
Basically, no two days look the same in the agency world. And it’s amazing.
A self-described PR brat, Iris is passionate about communications and online engagement and is also a big fan of the agency world. Iris has worked with clients ranging from local non-profits to large, multi-national corporations. She has a passion for conversations and has helped develop strategic communications and social media programs for clients in the retail, IT and tourism sectors. More information on Iris can be found here, and she can be followed on Twitter via @irisdias.
- Companies Too Dependent on PR Agency? (paulrobertspr.com)
- What can PR learn from social media (ubervu.com)
- 7 PR Resolutions for 2011 (ereleases.com)