In the first session, I attended the panel titled Agency or Corporate. This panel consisted of 3 PRos who all work in different types of PR firms. Renee Kopkowski works in a corporate setting (Mars, Inc.). Don Rountree works in a small boutique (Rountree Group). Hilary McKean worked in an agency (APR, Ketchum Public Relations).
Hillary explained that she liked working in an agency because it was a lot of variety and it was fast paced. She said that if you like to go deep and like to be an expert on specific companies, then you should go into corporate PR. If you like skimming the surface and think that you would like to work on 5 to 6 different accounts, an agency is for you.
Renee explained that when she worked at an agency, she never really understood the depth of the company and how she personally was helping the company. Now that she works in corporate PR, she feels like she has a value and can see how she is actually helping the company.
Don stated that he thrives for diversity which is what you get in an agency. He talked about the two different things that you need to have to work in agency PR: time management and teamwork. Don also handed out a paper that explained the “Agency Career Path”. In order to prepare for an agency career you must:
- Enhance your communication skills.
- Be “up” on the continuous communications revolution.
- Develop project management skill/be organized.
I felt as though the major message of the whole agency/corporate session was:
Try a variety and find out what you personally like.