By: Molly Stephanak

Finding the right fit in the PR world may seem like quite the challenge. There are endless opportunities as to what you can do with your degree. A common place for PR people to enter is in an advertising agency. 

When Derek Devries, Chea Jackson, and Amanda Passage came to talk at the PRSSA meeting on November 18, I was pleased to learn about their experiences in agency life. They talked about a day in the life of a Lambert & Edwards employee. Lambert Edwards & Associates is Michigan’s largest Public Relations and Investor Relations firm.

Here are three takeaways from our guest speakers:

  1. Always Communicate. Go figure! Communication with your clients is a huge aspect of working in an agency. Derek stressed the importance of keeping your clients informed throughout the entire process, which will keep work more enjoyable for both the agency and the client. 
  2. Be transparent. Establishing an open line of communication with your client is just the first step to a great final project. Not hiding anything from your clients means no surprises, such as over-billing or missing due dates.
  3. Manage your time. One common theme was the importance of tracking your hours on a project. Accounting for your time proves the value of the work and effort you are putting in for each client. This also makes it easier to communicate your value.

Hearing from professionals working in the industry is helpful and opens your eyes to which PR job could be the right fit for you. By listening to professionals working in an agency, it opened my eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead. An agency may not be the right fit for me, as I will learn through experience, but the professional contacts and exposure to different types of PR will only expand my horizons as a young PR pro.

Molly Stephanak is currently a junior at Grand Valley State University studying Advertising and Public Relations, with an emphasis in Public Relations. She is an active member of GVPRSSA and enjoys her job as a barista at the campus coffee shop, ecoGrounds. Molly considers herself to be a creative with a huge passion for live music and traveling.