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Agency to Corporate PR-The Differences are Significant

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The public relations (PR) field has become very diverse and it is a known fact that many professionals begin their career as general workers with large agencies. After a few years in these positions, however, many make the transition from an agency to the corporate PR world.

If you have had access to or have participated in multiple agency accounts, you will have an advantage when you make the transition to an entry-level PR position on the corporate level. You will have a more comprehensive view of the workings of the industry and will better know how to interact with clients.

Many people within PR feel that they have become complacent within the agency they work for. They are bored and decide to shake things up a bit and try something totally new. It takes guts to move into public relations on a corporate level. Of course there are a wide range of skill levels and experience on the agency side of the board and everyone certainly knows the value of PR. Agency workers realize how frustrating clients can be and know how challenging and fun it is to do a major launch. It is a situation where you know your client needs and you have to work very hard to finalize each and every detail. Agency workers know that it takes months to get profiles in the business press and that changing strategy is not productive.

People who make the transition from agency to corporate PR will tell you that they miss the camaraderie that an agency offers. There is an incredible amount of brainstorming and team work involved in agency PR work. Agency public relations people are more exposed to many more perspectives about a company than corporate PR people. Planning meetings usually include a wide sampling of people with different job functions who all stand for a different stakeholder from customers to investors. It can be very interesting to hear how everything affects each one differently.

When you make the transition to corporate PR, the name of the game is being inside. You have complete access and a total understanding of the product, your company's entire philosophy and the goals the company has. In-house PR people have the advantage of being able to speak to the key players to uncover new trends and ideas within the company. Corporate PR folks can have casual conversations with executives and product managers to gauge the pulse of the plans the company has. This perspective is virtually impossible for the outside PR person to gain, no matter how good of a relationship there may be.

The flip side to being a corporate PR person is boredom or feeling stuck in a routine. Working within the same framework day in and day out can quell a person's creativity. Corporate PR professionals must not let company loyalty get in the way of instincts. Corporate PR people must view the corporation from the outside.

Transitioning from agency to corporate PR is challenging and interesting. Anyone thinking of making this move should carefully consider the implications of running a PR campaign from a totally internal perspective.
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