One way to find out which PR environment you love and work best in is by trying it all during the “self-research” phase. Though I was lucky enough to experiment with PR in college it’s never to late to grab that hopefully-paid-internship to test the waters. Here’s the lay of the land of my experiences:
- Big Agency – This was the most enjoyable for me and needless to say where I am now. I like the big office, bigger teams working together toward smaller goals and working with really experienced people in various industries, the larger network of offices nationally, and the social environment. There is a sense of growth available at big agencies which is motivating for me and there is always something to do. Don’t get me wrong, until you get used to the people, culture, and environment it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond. But once I found my place, swimming only became easier.
- Small Agency – This was indeed my second favorite because I felt like I got to do a lot more with my time, especially as an intern when I was drafting pitches and sitting in new business pitches all within the second week. My constant fear at small agencies is that there are fewer people working together who naturally become family – work and social life blend to one. Of course this sounds great, but what happens when you don’t get along with someone? #drama. #avoid.
- In-House – This was the most challenging for me since it was one client all day, every day. Sure I became an expert in the field but the client needs and pressure was constant. No down time ever. Some what felt like dealing with nagging mom, more more more. Do this and do it now. Endless access to my life and questions about everything I did. Also, speaking of blending work and social… there was no social. It became an endless circle of work. Not my cup of tea…at least not then.
- Non Profit – This was the most rewarding but the hardest to get results. Need a lot of patience to work in this environment since budget cuts could put projects on hold indefinitely and social media is almost taboo until you slowly show all the benefits of a social presence. It almost became a cycle of persistance and proving yourself. But, in the end, reaching goals felt so valuable and life changing.
Figuring out which PR environment you like is the easy part… determining what field of PR you like… well, that’s an endless story. Which environment do you prefer?