In Gary Bridgens’ recent article, “Consulting 101: Uncommon Tips for Agency Success,” he explores the most challenging aspects of the magical, yet stressful world of public relations. And yes, success at a PR agency requires, as he mentions, “hard work, long hours and laser focus on personal growth.”

Here are his key findings:

  • Understand the business of the business: Strong leaders know how their company makes money. Bridgens recommends looking at those who work above and alongside you to learn the ins and outs of the business. Knowing how to keep clients happy, as well as having “a budget-conscious approach to work” is of utmost importance for success.
  • Master flexibility: Embrace the unpredictability of agency work and engage in finding a solution to any given issue. As Bridgens puts it, “every task is an opportunity to demonstrate your aptitude.”
  • Learn how to quantify your own successes: Whether it is media hits, event results or even emails from clients praising your work, keep a file of professional accomplishments. Remember, measurement is the “key component of demonstrating the value of public relations.”
  • Don’t fear strategy: Young professionals should follow their instincts and not be afraid to speak up, counsel strategically and be open to constructive criticism. Bridgens reminds us that it’s not necessary to have many years of experience to generate a great idea. The brightest young professionals constantly ask themselves, “What can I do to add value here?” Similarly, “What do you do to add value to your agency?”

Stay tuned…

Gary Bridgens is a project consultant in APCO Worldwide’s New York office, and the executive secretary of PRSA’s New York Chapter.

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