Claire Taylor, Sarah Voiselle, Will Salter and Lauren Bennett Speak On What It’s Like To Work For A PR Agency
By: Raynor Manley
Meet our Panelists!!
- Claire Taylor – Senior Account Manager, Hothouse
- Sarah Voiselle – Public Relations Specialist, Jackson Spalding
- Will Salter – Senior Producer, Sift Creative
- Lauren Bennett – Account Coordinator, See.Spark.Go
This week, PRSSA had four panelists come speak about their experiences in their various PR/ advertising agencies. The panelists gave us a look into their every-day life and how they got to where they are now.
Sarah Voiselle is currently a Public Relations Specialist for Jackson Spalding. Although she’s only been working in this role for a short time period, she has loads of agency experience. She previously worked for Porter Novelli. Sarah majored in public relations during her time at UGA and minored in dance.
Lauren Bennett currently works as an Account Coordinator at See.Spark.Go. She moved to Nashville in August and works in their new office. She actually was an intern for See.Spark.Go during her junior and senior year of college and found her way back to working for them full time. Lauren was a public relations major and a communication studies minor.
Claire Taylor currently works as a Senior Account Manager at Hothouse. She has been with Hothouse for over two years. This is her 3rd agency, and she loves getting to work on different tasks each day. Claire double majored in public relations and Spanish during her time at UGA.
Will Salter is currently a Senior Producer at Sift Creative. Will started as an intern and worked his way up to a full-time position. He has been with Sift Creative for 7 ½ years. He majored in public relations and received a certificate in sports media.
The panelists expressed that when working in an agency, no day is the same. Crises are always popping up and you must constantly be on your toes. Random things will come at you all day and every day. It can be overwhelming to juggle a lot of things at the same time, so it’s important to be organized. You must roll with the punches.
Agency life can move very fast, so it is important to practice strong time management skills. You need to prioritize what needs to be done right now vs. what can wait. It’s also crucial to speak a little bit of everyone’s language whether this be tech, finance, social media, etc.
Working in an agency can be fun because you get to try new things and brainstorm on different campaigns. A lot of agencies are smaller, so one perk to working in an agency is getting to know your co-workers and becoming friends with them. It is easy to make strong connections with co-workers because you are all motivated and interested in similar things. You will often work together and bounce ideas off each other and even come up with ideas together. It’s very important that you trust who you work with and know they will get done what they need to get done and you can rely on them.
Each panelist had a distinct memory of a project they have worked on that they have been very proud of. Ranging from interviewing celebrities to making a real difference in a campaign they worked on and created. PR is a creative field, and you have the power to do amazing things in this industry.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and message people on LinkedIn. Even if they have no idea who you are, explain the connection and how you know them and go from there. Alumni are happy to help UGA students and are happy to help you build your network. This is one of the best things you can do for yourself because you never know when someone you’ve reached out to might have a job available and remember you first. Networking is everything, because a lot of the jobs you will get will be from having connections internally. Knowing people will never hurt so always reach out and make the connections.
Don’t be afraid of no! Don’t let your feelings get hurt because not everything is meant to work out. A no can often be a redirection and you could land an even better opportunity. When deciding between corporate and agency, it’s okay if you don’t know what you want. You can always change your mind, but you need to look at your interests and decide which is better for you to start with.
A great way to make connections is through the UGA Mentor Program. Sarah was actually Emily’s, PRSSA President, mentor and they still keep in touch and are great friends to this day!
Shameless plug: Hothouse, Jackson Spalding and See.Spark.Go are all hiring, so if you are looking for an internship or full-time role check out all of these great places to work.