Agencies give you great experience and preparation for the world. I have worked for agencies most of my life and would be lucky to do so again. BUT not all agencies are created equal. Here are four things to look for when considering if an agency is the right fit for you.
- Collaborative culture of sharing. Do the team members horde contacts? Will your colleagues introduce you to reporters they know or give you credit for a story you placed for their client? Do you have the opportunity to learn from agency top talent? These are all things to know about working somewhere.
- Work/life balance. Any service based career from publicist to lawyer to advertising to event planning can mean being on call 24/7, but it doesn't have to.. As a wise woman I worked with once said "it's PR, not the ER" and you want to look out for places that expect you to be on call 24/7.
- A mix of client types. Doe the agency only cater to startups? Do they only have Fortune 100? Are the clients only in NYC? A diversity of clients will give you more learning experience so pay attention to that.
- Diversity at all levels. Gender, racial, religious, geographical, etc. You want to experience working with many people who are different from you that will make you a better, more well-rounded employee. PR is traditionally very female, but look at the agency leadership too. Is it all men? Are the women only in the rank and file?