I have worked in PR my entire career, but I just started working as an account executive at a PR agency for the first time a couple months ago. The reason why I bring this up is because I thought I had experienced everything there is about PR, but in actuality I still had a lot to learn.
Don’t let that scare you though because working for an agency is a gratifying experience. Agency life brings more opportunities for collaboration, client experience and a social environment that is better than most workplaces. With all that being said though, it’s not easy. In the day-to-day agency life you will be confused at times, frustrated on other days and stress will definitely creep in from time-to-time.
However, based on my ever-growing experiences I wanted to share the following tips that will help make you adjustment period to agency life a little bit smoother:
- Keep a updated “to do” list
This has saved me on multiple occasions. I create a task for almost every single thing I have to do. And every time I create a task, I state what the deadline is, who the client is and include any helpful notes that will help me complete the task.
- Don’t take the word “no” too personally
Unless you know some magic formula that can influence media members, you probably are going to hear some “no’s” from reporters from time to time. When this does happen, stay positive and objective. If the reporter is even very brief or impolite, remember they are really busy and have tight deadlines. If possible, try to determine why they turned your story down, and tailor your next pitch to them accordingly.
- Non-work-related activities are vital to getting rid of your stress
Like I stated earlier, agency life can be very demanding and stressful. Competing client demands, tight turnarounds, crises and unrealistic expectations can sometimes but you over the edge. This is why you need other outlets to counteract this stress. Everyone has their individual hobbies, myself, I am more of a golf and outdoor guy, but the point is you need to keep busy outside of work too. It will help you relieve stress and make you a more productive employee.
The last thing I will say too is to never hesitate asking questions because trust me you will have them. Other than that, hope some of these tips help you as you start out on your own PR agency journey, and good luck!