Small vs. Large Agencies: What Is The Difference?

After interning at an 80-employee office of Weber Shandwick and now working as an account coordinator at small agency Nyhus Communications, people have asked me what the differences are between careers in small and large agency work. I spoke in April on this topic during the “Day in the Life of a PR Professional” of Puget Sound PRSA‘s Jumpstart event.

Below are some of the differences between large and small agencies I learned from these two experiences:

After working at Weber Shandwick, Beth Evans currently works in a small agency setting at Nyhus Communications.
Small Business vs. Corporation

It’s easier to get to know coworkers you don’t collaborate with on a regular basis at a smaller agency. At smaller agencies, the company’s founder is often more accessible, providing direct access to the inspiration and thought process behind his or her leadership vision. At large agencies, corporate advantages include brand recognition on your résumé and the option to pull expertise, ideas and training from a worldwide network of offices.

Client Budget

Client budgets are the reason I worked on two client accounts at Weber Shandwick, while at Nyhus I work on three to four. Client budgets often correspond to the client’s internal public relations resources and expertise, and larger clients that utilize larger teams at larger agencies often correspondingly have larger budgets. For an entry-level employee, client budgets may affect how much media monitoring and reporting you do compared to developing public relations tactics and strategies.

Geographic Scope of Audiences and Media

Weber Shandwick’s Seattle office work is typically specific by industry but continent-wide or international in scope. Whereas, Nyhus has a strong reputation for executing projects and campaigns on a national level, but also has significant experience with local market work.

How have your experiences compared at large and small agencies? What do you consider the pros and cons of each?

Beth Evans is currently an account coordinator on Nyhus Communications’ technology and global health team. She is an active member of PRSA, regularly attends Seattle public relations and social media events and blogs about public relations, art and China.

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