PR firms present challenges unlike those you would experience working for the government, an NGO, a small business, or a large corporation.
At an agency, you don't just report to one boss. You're responsible for managing relationships with multiple clients, often with conflicting deadlines. If you work in crisis or international communications, the hours routinely extend far beyond the traditional 9 to 5, five-day work schedule. If you struggle to maintain your cool under pressure - when your clients need you most - your PR career will likely be short-lived.
Ask yourself these three questions before beginning your job search:
First, can I seamlessly and attentively go from one project to another during the course of a week, day, or even hour? There are careers where it actually helps to be a little ADD - PR is one of them.
Second, am I bottom-line and action oriented? At a firm, it's not about the number of hours you work, but rather the results you achieve for your clients.
Third, am I a people person? Personality counts in pitching a story to a reporter or selling an action plan to a CEO. A PR persona is a great asset to bring to agency work. Wallflowers needn't apply.
Aimee Steel is VP at Levick Strategic Communications.
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