Truth be told, you can’t really know what to expect when transitioning from in-house public relations to agency life until you actually make the change. Honestly, it can be a little jarring, especially when you’re joining a faced-paced, successful public relations agency like Konnect. But fear not!
I first began my PR career with an in-house team at a consumer products company. While it was a stimulating learning experience, that environment only barely scratched the surface of what was to come next. It turns out that moving to a public relations agency quickly became my best career decision thus far, so if you’re thinking about taking the leap, here’s a little advice and some in-agency scoop from someone who’s been there:
Be in the Know
If you’re contemplating making the switch to an agency, first stop and ask yourself, “Am I up to date with what’s happening in the media today?” At an agency, you’ll be working with many clients in a variety of industries vs. in-house where you typically work with a client in a singular space. With that, it’s imperative to stay current on industry trends and key influencers, as well as a basic understanding of all types of media outlets. Follow national publications on social media, set news alerts on your phone, skim the headlines of a reputable newspaper, collaborate with your peers — take some time to figure out the best way to know a little bit of everything. So, when you’re working in food and beverage PR and you see on Facebook that Food Network Magazine is looking for brands to feature for National Pizza Day, you’ll already be ahead of the game. Being “in the know” is a huge part of who we are as publicists and will always simplify your transition to any agency.
Get Your Systems in Place
If I could shout this from the tallest rooftop in New York City to get my point across, I would. Once you’ve ~crossed over~, the secret to adapting to agency life is getting and staying organized and learning time management quickly. This could include setting calendar reminders and breaking down your daily to-do lists. It’s crucial to adopt these habits early, and do whatever you feel will keep you in check and accountable. Once you move into an agency where you’re juggling multiple clients and managing both internal and external tasks, you’re organizational skills will be a lifesaver.
Collaborate and Ask Questions
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! It may seem like a cliche to push collaboration and communication in an industry like PR or marketing, but it should be stressed daily. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to when you take a seat at that shiny new desk. It’ll show your new team that you’re eager to learn correct agency practices from the get-go. If you feel you’re unsure or timid about a project, I implore you to ask questions. Whether it’s which editor to add to a media list or how to pitch national publications, ask away. Collaboration, in many communications-focused environments, is the key to success.
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