Public Relations Tactics

Consulting 101: Uncommon Tips for Agency Success

October 2, 2017

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This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on The Edge, the New Professionals Section blog.


PR agencies are microcosms of the greater profession, embodying the most dynamic and challenging elements of communications work. Achieving success in the agency setting requires hard work, long hours and laser focus on personal growth.

After one year into my role at a global public affairs firm, I looked back to take stock on what I believe makes a communications consultant stand out. Here are some tips:

Understand the business of the business.

For a junior staffer, a comfortable understanding of budgeting, billing, staffing and client services can be a significant differentiator. PR agencies are professional services businesses, and employee billings are the primary driver of a company’s revenue. Although it’s certainly not all about the money, a budget-conscious approach to work is a paramount trait among strong leaders.

The best way to position yourself for advancement is to look to those working above and alongside you in order to gain an understanding of the fundamental questions behind the business: How does my company make money? Am I doing everything I can to maintain top-quality and budget-conscious service? How can I help to keep my clients happy?

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