Last Friday I attended “Diversity Day” at Weber Shandwick in Dallas, which is an annual event hosted to help college students learn more about agency life. I love visiting PR agencies because there is an incredible amount of talent and creativity in many different disciplines. We heard from new and seasoned professionals, social media managers, human resource managers, vice presidents and general managers. Each member of an agency has a niche and working together as a team allows them to accomplish big things for their clients. Each professional serves as a piece of a larger puzzle.
My day at Weber Shandwick gave me inspiration, fueled my passion for PR and my desire to work in an international agency someday. Here are a few keys to success we discussed for future agency professionals:
Pay attention to brands:
- Read about industry trends in multiple areas, such as tech, consumer, government, digital, etc.
- Watch brands during a crisis and think of what you would do as a member of the brand’s crisis communications team.
- Observe good storytelling and look for key elements such as a villain, drama, tension and romance.
- Pay attention to campaigns and understand the process behind them.
- Know how brands are spending money.
Learn from your class work and internships:
- Build a better understanding of the business approach, social media, economics and research.
- Learn how to be a good salesman because everyone in business is selling something.
- If there are things you don’t enjoy doing, at least learn from them.
Improve your character and outlook on life:
- Develop a can-do attitude.
- Be a person of initiative and resourcefulness.
- Know how to work with a team.
- Be open to challenges.
Diversity Day helped me develop goals for my last months as a college student and put things into perspective. Sometimes I’ve had to do work during my internships that wasn’t exactly glamorous. During the panel discussion on transitioning from a student to professional, one of the assistant account executives said that even though what we’re doing might feel like grunt work, the end result will help someone else do their job more effectively and efficiently. Similarly, a press release might seem small, but it’s a piece of a larger puzzle that symbolizes a bigger story that a brand is trying to tell.
I’m at a place in life where I honestly don’t know what’s next, but I’m excited about completing the overall puzzle of my career ahead of me one piece at a time.