As you may know, there are a thousand different directions a career in public relations in an agency may take you, and 100 different tasks you may do throughout the week. For me, working for the world’s largest independent public relations agency, Edelman Public Relations, no two days are ever the same.
For starters, I work for some of the world’s top consumer brands (ever heard the name Starbucks?), but also work for locally based companies and a nonprofit, so the work between client teams can vary greatly. These are some of the best parts of the job — the variety, the immense array of projects and the vast amount of knowledge I’ve already gained in just my first year with the company.
Working for a large public relations agency is all benefits, in my eyes. You get to see different aspects of the industry, work with people of all levels in countries around the world and be thought leaders in the industry. Do you like to travel, attend events and build a network of professional resources around the world? Perfect. Ready to immerse yourself in non-stop client interaction, a constant flow of new and different projects and fast learning? Then life in a large agency just might be for you.
I’ve had the chance to support global product launches, plan events, work in media relations and more. My day-to-day projects range from media pitching to planning desk-side tours to compiling briefing books. I also monitor for media coverage, draft press materials and touch the digital space. In a large agency, you simply can’t get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing day in and day out.
People may say, as with any field, that a large agency can’t compare to a small one because you can make your voice heard in a small company but are nothing but a number in a large company. I respectfully disagree because, having worked in both a small and a large firm, I feel more comfortable now than ever in voicing my opinion and am confident it will make an impact – no matter how large the team or project. Richard Edelman, our CEO, who was recently named one of Glassdoor’s Best Bosses in America, emphasizes reaching each of the 53 offices by having worldwide videoconferences and meetings. So, while it may be easier to walk into the office of the CEO at a small firm, Edelman does a phenomenal job of assuring no one is ever just a number.
Large agencies might not be for everyone, and your taste for them might only last so long. But for those who have what it takes and enjoy the rush of a high-paced, cutting-edge workplace, the experience you’ll gain can’t be matched.
What experiences have you had in large agencies? How do they compare to other public relations jobs or internships you’ve had? What do you believe are the pros and cons of working in a large agency environment?
Amanda Aviles works in consumer public relations for Edelman in Atlanta. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama, a former PRSSA member and a current PRSA Georgia New Professionals Member. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or email.