Public Relations Professional, Social Media Reformer, and Technology Nerd
There are lots of opportunities in public relations. There are industries to choose from (from tech and beauty, to media and beverages), focuses to master (consumer, enterprise, corporate), and company type to consider. I've been a member of the Bite Communications team for the past five months, and have noticed significant differences (and surprising similarities) between working for a medium/large sized agency to a small/boutique agency. Whether you're new to the industry, or an experienced professional looking to make a change, you have a lot of options ahead of you. Below are a few of my findings.
- Small agencies are more like a family (yay, that would make your bosses like your parents)
- Large agencies are more impersonal, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. You'll need to learn to stand out and prove yourself quickly.
- In order to maintain great employees, small agencies keep a focus on the professional development and growth of their employees (and tend to promote quicker)
- In order to maintain and obtain great employees, large agencies focus a portion of their budget on professional development and personal development, such as classes, courses and professional membership organizations (although you have to fight for the raises and promotions you believe you deserve)
- Large, public agencies, have fiscal year budgets to consider when yearly bonuses come around vs. small agencies that don't have the same sort of rules when it comes to employee bonuses
- Although there are fantastic people on both sides of the fence, I have noticed that you get more respect when you work for a well-known agency
- Smaller agencies have smaller account teams, thus allowing junior staff to take on much more responsibility than at larger agencies. It is a fantastic place to start a career.
- Larger agencies have more of a focus on titles and a clear division of responsibilities. You really need to voice your desire to take on new responsibilities.
- Senior staff at larger agencies are more likely to take professional development classes themselves vs. smaller agencies that (in my experience) want employees to take classes and report back to the team.
- Smaller agencies are more nimble and willing to change policies vs. larger agencies that tend to have the motto "It's always been this way"
- Larger agencies tend to have a mix of senior to mid-level staff working the day-to-day activities of an account vs. smaller agencies that tend to have junior staff as a main point of contact, and senior staff focusing more on overall strategy
- All agencies are afraid of losing clientele.
- All agencies over-service from time to time.
- You need to find allies (above, below and at your level).
- You have to work hard no matter the agency size.
- You should take junior staff under your wing.
- You should meet frequently with your professional manager (if you're at a small agency where your boss is your PM, find others above you can also go to for guidance)
- You will never stop learning (unless you choose to become complacent).
- You will always be proving yourself to clients and coworkers.
I don't have a preference when it comes to agency size. I'm thankful my time at a small agency, and thankful for my current job at a larger agency. This is just a list of my findings. I'm sure I'll modify and add to it as time passes. Do you have any findings of your own?
“Hi, I'm Lacey. I'm in PR and I like to write about it.”