3 Reasons why I miss agency life

I’ve been working on the client side of PR now for over 2 years. While I’m glad I moved to “the other side” — there are days when I miss the dynamic agency environment.

So, to quell my ‘homesickness’ (and let’s face it: for many PR pros, the agency can be home…14h workdays notwithstanding!) here are the top 3 things I missed from my agency time:

I miss the thrill of pitching.  

Fresh ideas. New people. If you weren’t keen on pitching stories and dreaming up new executions; you had no place in a PR agency. The fast-paced (and sometimes cutthroat) environment was challenging.

Challenging and rewarding.

You knew when you won the pitch, you knew when you lost the client. Plus, there’s nothing that can keep you on your toes more than meeting a roomful of strangers almost every week. When you communicate with unknown quantities, there is no choice but to be as clear as possible.

There was little constraint on the amount of “dream time” you could invest in a project…provided that you could deliver & meet your deadlines.

The deadlines.   

I never thought I’d say this but I miss the ironclad deadlines of the PR agency. We usually dealt with finished products. This means, I never had to worry about manufacturing issues & other issues brands faced internally. There was no mental waiting time between a product idea & a launch — what landed on my desk was ready to be hyped up.

The regroup.

Speaking of hyping products up — if there’s one thing agencies know how to do — it’s going back to the drawing board when things don’t go as planned. Agile creative teams know when it’s time to let go of an idea they’ve developed to service their client (and the public!) better.

So there. It’s out of my system. Back to working for the dark client side. 🙂



PR Work is Grunt Work

Public relations is mostly unglamorous. It’s scouring through miles of spreadsheets to finish reports, it’s reading uninspired comments about your brand on blogs, it’s a mastery of screencaps — and most of all: it’s meeting deadline after deadline.

There’s no such thing as working with the news cycle. You’re just either in it or out of it.

Marketing students

I get interview requests from students all the time.

And when 3 or 4 groups of marketing students are asking questions — some more intelligent than others — I cannot help but be proud I came from the hill not the flood lands.
If you’re a student reading this, please be merciful and do the ff:

  1. Make clear & concise cover letters.
  2. Do some googling before asking questions like: “When was your company founded?
  3. Again with the subject lines. Don’t put <Interview> or <Mrktg 125> in your subject line, too.

The week ahead

  1. Wake up on a Monday & realize that spending 5 minutes more in bed will mean being gloriously late for work.
  2. Shower and dress in under 10 minutes. Take deep breaths and focus on getting out the door.
  3. Walk down your street. Be relieved that there is an empty cab.
  4. Arrive at the office with 8 minutes to spare. Find your mug, get some coffee.
  5. This week’s most difficult tasks are over. Things are already looking up.

I’ve observed bright, young execs who never get to rise in the ranks because they were above coming in on time. Furthermore, these talented people never get promotions because they would already have left the company by the time they would’ve been up for it. They could not wait!

Next time you ask yourself — how did that imbecile become the division head?

Remember this: maybe he or she was an expert in showing up and staying put.  

The nth revision

Hello, and welcome to another edition of the “Mondays”. Expect to:

  1. Struggle with your surprisingly cool sheets.
  2. Wear the wrong outfit for today’s weather.
  3. Forget your lunch money at the kitchen counter top.

Other things that will infuriate you today:

When medium, message, and audience make no difference to people approving/paying for the copy you write.

Ah, well, almost lunch! The day is half won (or lost?).