This Is Why I Want To Earn My Agency Stripes

10 Jan

The Cast of Mad Men -- talk about earning agency stripes

The marketing/public relations field isn’t the easiest to understand when you’re on the outside looking in. As communicators, it is our job to properly educate those who don’t understand our area of expertise as well as we do – team accounting, team law, team advertising, team C-suite and everyone else. Of course, we’re all working together to generate revenue for one company, but sometimes everyone gets caught up in their department teams. This situation is usually something you see in every environment but agency.

As you all know, I am a proud junior staffer at an agency but … I did not start off in agency. My most memorable college internship was working for the mayor of Charlotte, on his political campaign team.

I served as his press assistant and worked under the press secretary, communications director and campaign manager as the press assistant. While working on the campaign, I saw some things that convinced me to take an agency route right out of college. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the structure of political campaigns, it’s basically a variety of people who have different professional backgrounds coming together to help a candidate get elected.

As a PR/marketing student, the “what’s the value in this program” and “why is this more important than this” questions were extremely challenging to answer. Was there an answer to those questions? … Yes. Could I present a valid case … No. Being the young and confident student I was, I thought I had all of the answers but I didn’t. There was something about questions regarding PR measurement that was always confusing.

This is why I decided agency would be best for me right after college. The majority of agency junior staffer positions are designed to help you grow in this area. In the agency setting, you’re surrounded by PR/marketing people and you don’t have to worry about the “what’s the value in this program” or “why is this more important than this” questions because someone else will be responsible for answering it. Well, not exactly … but you get my point, right? This is the perfect time for you to sit back, observe and learn.

If someone asked those questions today, I could shoot out an answer without any hesitation and I honestly think it’s because of my agency experience.

Have you ever been in a similar situation?

2 Responses to “This Is Why I Want To Earn My Agency Stripes”

  1. YUMMommy January 10, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I think that anyone who is trying to establish a career vs just having a job has been in a situation where they have had to choose whether or not to just wing it on their own or go with a company/agency and get more hands on experience to learn the business. And this in economy I think that it’s great to start off under a business/agency to get all the experience and knowledge that you can. Plus, let’s not forget that you’ll also gain valuable contacts to use once you’re ready to take that next step.

  2. Samira May 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Hi there
    I found your blog through the #entpr tags on twitter and so far loving all the advice.

    Any advice for those of us who would like to switch to agency pr? I graduated in June last year and have been working in house for a company within communications and marketing but not heavy on pr.

    Is there anything specific agencies look for?

    🙂 Ty!

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