Editor's note: This story first appeared on PR Daily in August.
Agency life in the PR world is not for the timid or the dull—or those dependent upon eight hours of sleep a night.
Agency life is for the bold, the creative, and the smartphone-addicted.
It’s not all glamorous parties and getting paid to spend hours on Facebook (although there is some of that). Agency life is tough, but rewarding.
Here’s a look at what drives our days:
Constant Creative Demand.
Delivering in a gorilla suit, learning the secret language in “A Clockwork Orange,” and letting an antique deli scale ride shotgun could all be in a day’s work for a PR agency pro. There’s simply no “typical day.”
While others are idling away in cubicles, watching the clock tick away, we’re dreaming up catchy campaign slogans, dashing to drop off media deliveries, and crafting press releases (sometimes in the form of infographics).
We’re the ones saving ideas on our smartphones during dinner with friends on a Friday night. We’re the ones taking notes at a music festival because we’ve drawn some parallel between the crowd interaction and potential client engagement tactics. We’re the ones fighting the urge to text and drive because we drove past something that made us think.
We’re always on. Because inspiration is everywhere—and our brains never stop.
Continuous Gear Shifting and Learning.
Health care legislation on tap one day, a restaurant’s menu the next day—or maybe the next hour. Working at an agency requires a mind that can quickly shift gears as well as and a continuous urge to learn. We’re always working with new clients in new industries, so boredom doesn’t exist behind agency walls.
Fun? Yes. Easy? Hardly.
Agency life requires you to know a lot about a lot. Your clients expect you to be on your game every day. So brush up, take notes, and study hard. Do that and you’ll always get the facts right. And just remember: When in doubt, don’t double check—triple check.
Multiple Personalities. Or at Least Perspectives.
PR pros must communicate to a wide variety of audiences, from Pinterest-obsessed audiences to reporters on deadline to your dad, who wants to know how to post to Facebook. To accomplish all of these tasks effectively, we have to consider how these disparate groups will interpret each message. Yes, empathy isn’t just a quality that will make you a great friend, but it will make you a great agency staff member.
A little, A LOT of initiative
Public relations professionals get to make stuff happen. We’re never waiting around for the story to break. We’re out and about, building buzz.
That’s what you’ve got to do to stay ahead. Your clients don’t want to tell you what to do. You’re the expert, so get out there and start doing it. Pitch stories about the amazing work your clients are doing or help them do
some amazing work.
Kellie Bramlet works at The Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based creative agency specializing in non-traditional public relations, social media and experiential marketing. A version of this story first appeared on the agency’s blog