The Perks of Starting Your Career at a PR Agency

There was always something appealing to me about the thought of working in an agency.  I love the idea of having a hand in several projects at once and I have had great experiences interning at PR agencies, so great in fact that since my first public relations agency, I haven’t looked back.  My boss at the time gave me a great piece of advice that I have not forgotten.  She said, “The best idea is to start at an agency and get really good.  Become well versed in a bunch of different industries and then you’ll have countless opportunities should you decide you’d like to go in house someday.” 

It seems I’m not the only one who is taking this advice, and there are many reasons for young professionals to tune in now and find out why.

  • The structuring of team members on accounts within an agency is ideal for newcomers to learn from those more experience professionals.  There can be a co-worker at a higher level like account supervisor working on the same account as the entry-level account coordinator.  Collaborating on a project can create a mentor/mentee relationship between the two, intentional or not, and the account coordinator can see the role of the higher-ups at the agency up close.  This structure also creates a lot of opportunity for upward mobility, whereas in a corporate setting, you may be the only PR professional the company has.
  • At larger agencies, you will probably be working on more than one client at a time.  Not only can you learn best practices for different industries depending on the diversity of the client, but the work is more interesting when you can jump around from project to project.
  • From what I have seen, there is often turnover within an agency.  Employees may decide to move to a different agency after a certain amount of time or make the switch to in-house, but for whatever reason you will be surrounded by people who may eventually disperse.  Interacting with professionals in an agency  will expand your network from one agency environment to several if you maintain relationships with former co-workers.
  • What you learn in an agency environment goes beyond PR and into the realm of business.  You are exposed to the operations of such departments as human resources, new business, budgeting and management and you are also gaining insight into the business operations of your clients.  Having a basic understanding of business is important in your development as a savvy up-and-coming professional.

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