The traditional question posed to many public relations job seekers is, ’So, do you think you’re suited for a corporate or agency environment?’ That question may be as antiquated as sending out press releases en masse.
The traditional question posed to many public relations job seekers
is, ’So, do you think you’re suited for a corporate or agency
environment?’ That question may be as antiquated as sending out press
releases en masse.
Here are a few reasons why.
The myths never match reality. If you’re employed at an agency, working
in corporate represents the ’glamorous’ side - leaving promptly at 5 pm,
cushy benefits and meals in the executive dining room. But all of that
has changed. Corporate jobs are no longer safe havens where managers
simply answer the phone and pal around with the CEO. Nor are agency jobs
all sales presentations and passing off work to junior staff.
In an agency, first-time job seekers want the thrill of a fast-paced
environment, or an opportunity to learn alongside other people who have
passed through the same entry-level tests.
But the current business climate requires more than just learning a
trade. It demands understanding business, management strategies, and
developing intellect far beyond what’s learned shadowing others. It also
requires investing in career tracks and people who will create value no
matter what the environment.
Even the nomenclature doesn’t provide an accurate definition. The terms
’corporate public relations’ or ’corporate communications’ may be
’Corporate’ implies preservation of assets, or real goods and
No one is suggesting that this definition is a completely inaccurate
But the face behind the portrait has changed. Managing perception is now
more about the intangibles or what many treat as less measurable
factors, such as intellectual property, human capital and customer
For evidence, look no further than high-performing ’old economy’
companies like Alcoa, Georgia-Pacific and US Steel, who despite solid
financial performance, have not achieved valuations of their ’new
Investors rewarding the intangible have created entirely new
communication challenges and paradigms. It is likely tomorrow’s leaders
won’t make the distinction between corporate or agency PR when it comes
time for answers.
Maybe what we need is another lens through which to view ourselves.
We’re no more ’agency’ or ’corporate’ PR people than we are professional
It may be time to learn what the media has already discovered : the
medium doesn’t matter as much as who the messenger is. Who cares what
side they represent or where they’re from? That’s for the receiver to