I recent read an article by Ryan McShane via PRDaily.com about the 4 myths about PR agencies. McShane had some very good points. Even though I’ve only interned virtually with different public relations agencies, I would like to talk about how starting out in-house has helped benefit my career.
- Just as McShane stated, you must evaluate each job opportunity, whether in-house or agency, independently to see if which would be the best fit. I’m from NC and there were not any agencies hiring at the time I was looking for full-time employment in public relations. I was able to find an assistant position in-house, doing marketing and PR for a snack company. There were so many things the company began to do to build brand awareness that I got to travel 3 weeks after graduation to Chicago for a trade show. I love to travel and I was really excited not only to travel, but to meet and work with our sales representatives that do not live where our offices were headquartered.
- After realizing my passion for PR, I’ve noticed that to work full-time in PR, companies wanted you to have so many years experience working in agencies. That’s when I decided to look for part-time work at different PR agencies. Because of my full-time job working in-house PR, I had to find something virtual that could fit around my schedule. Since then, I’ve worked three different part-time virtual unpaid internships with different agencies all over the nation. You must take initiative and show the hiring managers that you are serious about working in the industry.
- McShane stated that agency experience was short-term. This is not always the case. I signed an internship agreement with my previous internship based out of Portland to work for three months. I ended up loving the job so much, that I stayed another three months and would have stayed longer, had not my full-time job didn’t impede outside of my 9-5 business hours. You must know when to say no and when to scale back while working an internship. If it is starting to affect your school work or your full-time work, then adjustments must be made.
- For me, starting out in-house doing PR has definitely helped my work that I do through my virtual internships. Starting my career doing in-house PR has really helped me focus on what’s best for the brand, the company, and the product/service. Exploring all avenues and choosing the best method for my company is what I do on a daily basis. Now I can use that perspective when completing my work for my virtual internship, while working with the agency’s multiple clients. It will definitely give you a leg-up when finally landed that agency position.
Where did your PR career start? How has it benefited you since then?