Considering Agency Work

What kind of public relations work do I want to do?

During our Public Relations Fundamentals course earlier this week, our instructor spent some time covering the type of work available in public relations. This got me thinking about my practicum and my career as a whole.

I’ve been working in communications for about eight years. Not all of this work falls under the banner of public relations, but I have done some PR in both the public and private sectors.

I’ve enjoyed both for different reasons. There have also been times where I’ve hated both. In both sectors, I’ve always been an in-house guy. I’ve never worked for an agency.

Working for an agency

I’m seriously considering looking into agency work. Edmonton has some incredible agencies, any one of which I’d be thrilled to work for:

There are others, but those are the four local agencies of which I’m most aware.

There’s also Outside the Cube, an agency up in Whitehorse, Yukon. I’m impressed by their portfolio and would absolutely move north to work for them if the timing was right for me and my family. (They actually offered me a job at one point, but I turned it down for personal reasons.)

What does agency work look like?

Compared to an in-house shop, where I’ve typically been part of very small teams (or the only communications person in the organization), agency work is a different animal.

My impression is that the stakes and stress levels are higher—the need for billable hours tends to do that—but the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients is appealing, especially at the start of my career. The chance to work with so many other creative people is also a big draw.

I haven’t ruled out corporate or public sector work—there are tons of opportunities for government-related work in Edmonton—and there are aspects of each that appeal to me. But right now I am seriously leaning toward agency work.

I’ve got a few contacts who I should go for coffee with and talk about their experiences working for creative agencies. It’s a direction I hadn’t much considered until recently, so I’ve got a lot of questions.

Do you work for a public relations agency? I’d love to pick your brain. Leave me a comment if you’re interested in having a chat over coffee. I’ll buy!

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