Life in the PR Agency Field: What You Need to Know

With a growing number of opportunities and career paths in the PR world, many of us aspiring professionals are indecisive as to what road to take. Who do I want to work for? What do I want to specialize in?

One of the best ways to get insight on what the field is really like is by conducting informational interviews.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Hana Katen, a University of Oregon graduate and assistant account executive at Waggener Edstrom in Portland, Ore.


Hana Katen, Assistant Account Executive, Waggener Edstrom

From Hana’s experiences on the job, she was able to give me helpful tips and a heads-up on what to expect from behind the desk of a worldwide agency.

  • Limitless Resources

Hana admits that one of the most beneficial aspects of working at an agency is being surrounded by people with similar passions. As opposed to an in-house position, your colleagues are also working on similar projects. If you ever need extra help, your co-workers are bound to know a useful contact or propose a fresh idea.

  • Entry-level duties

Hana’s typical workday requires staying connected and within reach of her keyboard. Whether an intern, account coordinator, or assistant account executive, a common duty includes tracking coverage of your client in various media outlets. You constantly need to be in the loop of what’s happening by watching the news and searching the Internet.

  • Flawless writing

As an aspiring professional, perhaps the most valuable skill to perfect is your writing. “95% of your day involves writing,” states Hana. Emails, news releases and even tweets all need to be impeccably written. Constantly working on improving this skill is extremely helpful.

  • Off the clock

A lot of the times work won’t consist of working 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. In such a fast-paced and stressful career, it’s important to learn to balance work and time off the clock:

“The best piece of advice I ever got was to ‘have a baby,’” says Hana.

Maybe not literally, but in other words, have something you can commit to every day. Designate a certain time to attend to “your baby,” like the gym or running errands. When you have time off, you are so much more productive during the time you should be working.

Lastly, Hana describes her experience as a Waggener Edstrom associate as unique. The opportunity to work on dozens of jobs under one business allows for flexibility and new adventures. With something new and exciting to look forward to, Hana believes the agency workplace is definitely a motivating career choice.

One thought on “Life in the PR Agency Field: What You Need to Know

  1. Pingback: Top Student Blog Posts From Last Quarter | The PR Post

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