PR Insight 3 minute read
Agency life. The clients, the bosses, the rushing from one topic to the other, the mad deadlines. Not exactly a dream description for a job, yet there is a collection of 30 something’s that not only love the excitement but thrive on it.
We spoke to Gen Y in the agency business and some who have left the agency life to find out what they love and don’t love.
Parekhit Bhattacharjee, 29 years old is consulting Associate Manager with Genesis Burson Marsteller. Parekhit has been in public relations for 5 years and loves it.
Parekhit says what appeals to him is the: “bunch of talented and warm people, the structured learning process and the extremely conducive working environment.”
For 27 year old Chaittali Dave, senior PR executive with Nucleus PR, the reasons that matter are: “respect towards your employees and more exposure as there is no limitation for a specific genre. Also, with the support of your team one can maintain a healthy work life balance.”
Learning at an agency
The agency is a great learning arena as well. Parekhit says that at an agency he has the chance to work on more than one brand and deliver on each one of them. It is also “more dynamic with learning across sectors and verticals.”
Chaittali says that while she doesn’t have personal experience in an in-house position: “one distinct advantage that an agency professional gets is the exposure to all verticals resulting in them being more in tune with the media and enabling them to think on broader terms.”
Shifting to an in-house position
By their early 30’s, 5-7 years into agency life, PR professionals tend to get itchy feet and want to shift to an in-house position.
Chaittali says it would take her: “at least 2-3 years to shift to an in house position.”
Former agency man Shailesh K. Nevatia, 32, who is now an independent consultant, says: “If I was with an agency, I would prefer it be at around 35 year with a senior corporate communications or lead position at an MNC or a reputed company.”
However Parekhit does not agree declaring that: “I am an agency person, I would much rather head an agency then join an in-house position. It’s better to lead the core-competency for a firm then to head the support-function for a brand.”
What can agencies do better?
But it’s not all rainbows and chocolate at agencies. There is a downside too. Chaittali says that she is fortunate to have a good boss and happy go lucky team mates! But she points out that that: “based on my experiences overall agency life would certainly be much better if all of us would just get along together. Knowing and understanding your colleagues/ team/boss will make your efforts more effective and will give you better work satisfaction. Team bonding makes the entire experience of being in an agency more enriching.”
“One of the biggest expectations from bosses in PR agencies is to treat your team with respect – however junior or senior the person is. PR is a tough field and the team member would most often idolise the boss as a role model. So take an interest in your team, educate and groom them to walk in your footsteps.”
Says Shailesh: “I hate the so called policies that changed according to each person rather than on merit. Also the unnecessary tantrums shown by bosses and clients, threatening us about getting fired or asking us to quit. This creates a pressurised environment for the team and nobody likes to work under-pressure.”