We've all heard that the PR agency world is fast-paced, competitive and often lands on the most stressful jobs lists – along with doctors, surgeons, dentists, firefighters and police officers.
No, public relations is not life and death – it’s PR, not ER. It’s exciting, rewarding and fun. PR people are storytellers, and most importantly, industry professionals who want to help their clients tell their stories to their numerous stakeholder audiences.
The greatest thing about PR agency life is that you can work on various industries and clients or specialise in one industry. PR agency people support numerous types of companies from corporate, consumer and hospitality, entertainment and sports, healthcare, public affairs, reputation management, and crisis communications. Our teams are responsible for helping our clients convey their messaging to build their brands. Whether working in a small agency, mid-size agency or large agency, there are so many milestones we have the chance to participate in with our clients, including launching companies and their products, taking them public, promotions and events, cause-related marketing, natural disasters, to cybersecurity and digital and social media campaigns. Still, there are also great opportunities: lifelong clients and friendships, incredible colleagues, rewarding accomplishments and fun.
Why is agency life fun?
No day is the same. One day you could deal with a product launch, the next you could deal with a bankruptcy, develop a research survey or pitch an executive on national TV. There are so many opportunities for creativity, thinking, learning and developing relationships. PR people need to stay relevant in an ever-changing world, and they must stay in touch with trends, breaking news, and pop culture that impact what our clients do every day.
The clients and variety. We get to work with so many clients. Whether it is a recognizable brand or a startup, you get to work within numerous industries. And, you can choose your path to combine your passion and specialization.
Solving problems – and that is rewarding. We help solve clients’ communications issues through innovative thinking and execution.
Building relationships (clients and colleagues) and developing a network. Building relationships is a part of the job. We are not selling widgets. We are storytellers. We are all about people and relationships. We need to talk and listen to people. We meet many interesting people – reporters, influencers, marketers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, CEOs and more. The people we meet become part of our growing network.
Thinking creatively. We are always on. We always think about our clients. What can we bring to them today? What can we create today to help them? Each day we need to think differently; and that’s a fun part of the job.
New business. We need to grow our business. How do we do that? We meet and pitch new clients and seek out new business. New business winning is so much fun. You get to research and understand the client’s challenges and opportunities and then work with colleagues on ways to present the findings in a compelling and interesting way.
Travel. We get to travel to so many places, whether domestic or international or big city or small town to meet with clients. And we share those experiences with colleagues and friends.
Tom Smith is a strategic, highly skilled corporate communications professional with a proven 24-plus-year track record of leading and implementing corporate campaign programs. He has led numerous multi-million-dollar global accounts and as president of Allison+Partners' North American corporate practice, he brings deep capability in numerous industries, including financial services, hospitality, professional services, technology, education, healthcare and industrial supply. His specialties include integrated communications, corporate brand positioning, thought leadership, executive visibility, B2B marketing, influencer management, media relations and investor relations.