After working agency-side for a number of years, it came as quite a shock to be refered to as “the client” the other day. I’m now the one who evaluates success, sets targets and controls spend – but generating coverage is still a vital part of my job, too.
Even though my role is firmly rooted in the PR world, it’s a hugely different experience to being part of an agency-based account team.
While in-house and agency-side PR professionals share many of the same goals (achieving widespread coverage, increasing brand awareness, generating buzz and so on) there are some rather important distinctions.
For instance, agency-based PR professionals are focused on gaining as much media interest in their clients’ brands as possible while trying to keep the client content; a PR coordinator/manager needs to ensure that their brand is protected at all times while gaining the right kind of attention from the press. It’s a balancing act between spreading the word / getting the brand noticed and ensuring the brand isn’t compromised.
Anyone working in the PR industry will tell you that it’s practically impossible to retain control of your message as each journalist will try to put their own spin on things – but that’s what keeps this job interesting (and challenging) each and every day.