Based on my firm's practices, it's good to ask candidates from entry level to VP to take writing tests. The tests differ based on level, of course.
For example, AE candidates should be asked to write a press release. VP-level applicants would be asked to develop concepts for a client program. The tests should also be customized to meet the needs of each specific practice area at the firm, as each discipline has its own particular terminology and foundation of knowledge.
There truly is great value in administering writing tests because, quite frankly, it is a lost art in the PR industry.
The Power of Specialized Thinking, which is our agency's tagline, is at the core of everything that we do for our clients, and our work tends to be very sophisticated and strategic, and often deals with complex issues. As a result, the ability to convey technical information in clear, concise language is critical to our success as communications professionals.
Whether it is a press release, presentation, or just an e-mail, our clients, colleagues, and the media require we display effective writing skills every day.
As such, testing that proficiency is totally appropriate during the interview process at any level.
Steve Seeman is VP at Makovsky & Company.
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