Client Work √
Polished resume √
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First, nothing will really “prepare” you for the lifestyle you encounter as the agency “newbie”, but here are some tips from a prior victim that help keep you focused (mmm, treats!), sane (maybe) and succeed.
Time-Management Skills: These are imperative. In agency settings, you’ll likely be responsible for handling a multitude of client support projects. Media lists, press releases, fact-sheets, briefings, clip books, and maybe, if you have time, pitching the media. And you’ll be working with multiple types of clients, too. Woo, no pressure, right? HA! Some suggestions:
- Purchase a good planner
- Create personalized client spreadsheets! Note important tasks and project due dates.
- Schedule time every day for specific time-sensitive projects. This prioritizes your time & helps meet deadlines.
Team Communication: We all want to please our boss. But, please, please, please-alert your managers if you’re strapped for time or still working on a project. Timely and direct communication will help build trusting relationships between you and your team members! They understand the learning curve, and believe me, they want you to get it right! So, ask questions and if you need more time to prepare, say so.
On that note: be thorough and present projects in their best form before submission to managers. Be prepared though, for no matter how superb it is, there’s almost always an error and changes that must be made. Managers have been doing this far longer than you. So suck it up and take feedback positively. Ultimately, this grooms you for account management life.
3. Client Preparation: Research your clients! Become an information sponge. Read prior media placements, memorize fact sheets and bookmark their “about us” Web pages. The more you understand your clients, the better your research efforts will be. You’ll target the right media contacts at the right publications. And you’ll relish the additional time available.
Take initiative: Offer to write releases, statements or email pitches; especially if you have fair notice. This takes stress off managers, emphasizes your desire to learn and helps you become a productive, reliable member of the team. If you have extra notice of an upcoming interview, get the briefing document done early. Managers really appreciate the early submission to prepare the client!
Take a break: No, not cigarette or Facebook breaks. But do stand up and stretch. Look away from the monitor, listen to the birds, wiggle your toes and give your chair a rest. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated and have snacks available (if they’re allowed because in our world, we eat on the fly.
Agency life is busy and it often seems there aren’t enough hours in the day! So manage your time, eat your goodies and talk to your mentors! The rest will come on its own! Good luck!