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2021 IU PRSSA (Virtual) Chicago Agency Tour

By Amy Caggiano and Luke Cunningham

Indiana University PRSSA members visited five public relations organizations during February’s virtual LA and Chicago trips. Students looked at the operations of major PR agencies, learned about opportunities and received career advice from professionals.

PRSSA members met with Narrative PR on Feb. 19. The LA agency focuses on entertainment, and its clients include actors, writers and directors. Co-founder Liz Mahoney, who has a star-studded professional past, spoke about her journey from studying at Cornell to starting her own agency.

Other Narrative professionals shared their favorite aspects of their job, such as the social opportunities, the fast-paced environment and the travel involved. While the pandemic has changed much of Narrative’s day-to-day operations, each person continues to work hard while looking forward to normality.

Narrative team members recommended that students looking to pursue a career in entertainment public relations should foster professional connections, become strong in interpersonal skills and work on multitasking and prioritizing. Gaining experience is the most helpful. They also mentioned that the unpredictability of the industry can be difficult to handle, so it is important to take care of yourself.

All Points Public Relations kicked off the virtual visit to Chicago on Feb. 26. The firm focuses strongly on franchise public relations and was founded by Hoosier alumni. The session featured a panel discussion across different branches of the business. Each professional walked through daily operations and personal duties. They spoke about specializing in client relations, graphic design and the many functions that go into an integrated campaign.

The All Points team also shared advice to students hoping to become professionals after graduation, recommending that students gain experience, display work ethic from non-communications jobs and think creatively about ways to secure press opportunities. They gave insight into company culture and the importance of both local and national media coverage.

Afterward, Golin professionals spoke about their daily operations and gave important advice to students looking for jobs. Golin splits its employees into four categories: explorers, creators, connectors, and catalysts. Each category of employees has a different focus that contributes to the company as a whole. The agency focuses their company around creating a happy culture.

Golin professionals spoke about current campaigns, such as Amgen’s Migraine Mission, and ended their visit by giving career advice from the professional perspective.

BCW, a global firm with 4,000 people and expanding across 111 countries, joined next. Professionals went over some of their most prominent clients and case studies, including the Walgreens Boots Alliance and the 2020 Beverly Hills Dog Show. They said that they have been relying heavily on virtual events, which has also helped promote their social media presence. They emphasized that they are always open to new ideas and want to help.

Lastly, PRSSA members met with FleishmanHillard, a global company that focuses on their reputation and brand image. Values of diversity and equity inclusion help the agency connect as a company and become more personal.

Professionals shared some of their case studies, like Cap’n Crunch’s Christmas Crunch campaign. They provided insight on how to promote companies in a unique way.

The FleishmanHillard team also gave advice on interviews, during which they recommended being yourself and preparing ahead of time. They talked about how the active role their interns play within the agency.

Thank you to all of the agencies that met with IU PRSSA virtually!


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