7 dirty (or encouraging) secrets about PR agency life

Your professors or mentors probably don’t tell you this stuff before you graduate or move on to a new career.

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A career at a PR, advertising, or marketing agency is a gratifying path. Agency life brings more opportunities for collaboration, client experience, and a social environment than most workplaces. But it’s not easy, especially for recent grads.

There are many great lists about working at a PR firm, but here are a few things I wish someone had told me when I graduated. Maybe you’ll find a few good nuggets here, too:

1. You’re at the mercy of two people: managers and clients.

Not all managers are great, nor are all clients. Over time, both will work themselves out. Reach out to the right people before you leave.

2. You’re expected to be connected to email on the go.

Whether you like it or not, a job that comes with mobile email means you’re expected to be on it. It’s the hardest and saddest part of our industry, but a work/life balance is yours to own and yours to create. Much of the client interactions happen after hours—whether you’re tweeting over the weekend about a customer service issue or you’ve landed a story or interview based on breaking news.

Balancing this to the best of your ability is all you can do. Agency lifers will tell you that helping your clients in these ways will get you promoted and celebrated.

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