This article first appeared in O’Dwyers.
Breaking into the PR world can be an overwhelming task. With so many big-name agencies with multiple departments, offices and specialties to consider, the small agencies are sometimes overlooked.
But they shouldn’t be.
Having previously worked for one of the “big guys,” I’ve come to learn that there are many benefits to working at a small agency.
While big agencies force you to climb the corporate ladder before participating in many agency and client activities, small agencies allow you to participate in every aspect of the business. From media relations to social media strategy and management and from new business presentations to direct interaction with existing clients, you have the opportunity to learn through a variety of first-hand experiences.
There are many benefits to working for a small agency, but here are a few that I find most valuable:
- You get to know your entire team
Working at a small agency gives employees the opportunity to get to know each other extremely well, because all staffers, from account coordinators to principals, are collaborating on the same projects. And, because the teams are smaller, employees are able to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes. This also makes it easier to build strong relationships with colleagues at all levels.
- You can explore many aspects of PR to discover what you love
Instead of handling just one component of a larger project, you’re involved in every piece of the project – from brainstorming to program development and execution to launch. This gives employees the opportunity to discover what they like most. For example, I found that I’m passionate about media relations and am often brought in to help pitch on other accounts.
- Your input matters
Big agencies and corporations often rely on specific departments and sectors to get work done. At small agencies, employees contribute on a project from start to finish, with more input on the final product. This means that your voice is heard during every brainstorm and client call and that your opinion matters.
As the old saying goes, it can be far more gratifying to be a big fish in a small pond. At a small agency, your actions are more significant, and you have the opportunity to feel like your contributions can truly make a difference.