This past weekend was enlightening, intimidating, and exciting. I was lucky enough to join 15 other members of the University of Oregon’s Public Relations Student Society of America, (PRSSA), to tour three Seattle public relations agencies.
We spent Friday morning at Weber Shandwick, where we explored the office and learned about how the agency is tackling the changing PR landscape. I really appreciated how Weber works to be a one-stop-shop for clients, dabbling in video and advertising along with the usual planning and strategizing expected in PR. They are actively becoming a more integrated agency which gave me hope that two years of learning how to film and edit for Duck TV News wasn’t entirely useless. We then left Weber to tour Edelman.
Edelman is the best at what they do. Walking into the office and seeing awards proudly displayed next to the Edelman logo was certainly impressive. The presentation was informative and I got goosebumps hearing about all the different office locations and opportunities to travel and work abroad. At the same time their internship program is risky. I don’t know if I’m ready to pick up and move to a new city to work for a company that accepts interns solely on a rolling basis based on client need. If the Starbucks account no longer needs an army of 20, then the lowest on the totem pole is the first to go. Unless another intern spot are the office opened up. That’s not to say I won’t pursue an opportunity if I think it could be a good fit for me.
Our last agency of the day was Porter Novelli. Their office is located in the oldest building in Seattle, which may not be so neat for some people, but as someone who took a lot of AP History courses and loves architecture, that’s definitely interesting. Immediately upon entering the office I was struc by the camaraderie of the people and the cohesion. Everyone seemed so supportive of one another and passionate about they do. Not to mention I liked how the cubicles were lower than the ones at Edelman and Weber Shandwick to encourage communication between employees. On the downside, while I loved the passion I saw exuded at Porter Novelli, I don’t know if I could see myself being as passionate as they were about their largest client, HP. Printer ink doesn’t exactly make my heart flutter. Then again who knows, I’m not even positive about what avenue of PR I will be most passionate about.
Overall, It was really interesting to explore the different dynamics of each agency and learn about their most recent client work. It certainly made me think hard about my future and solidified my goal to work at an agency. Hopefully I will be there soon.