Advertising Agency Panel

By Mia Bonfiglio

PRSSA partnered with Ad Club on Oct. 17 to coordinate a panel of professionals in communication fields at advertising agencies to share their experiences and perspectives. The panel consisted of two women from Weber Shandwick and one from Fitzco.

Meet the Panel:

Lauren Walsh is a Senior Specialist at Fitzco and graduated UGA in 2021 with a degree in marketing. Her work is in media and she got started by doing advertising after college for a friend’s business and realizing this is a new route she can take.

Melissa Golden is an Executive VP and General Manager at Weber Shandwick. She graduated with a degree in English and a French minor knowing she wanted to go into journalism. Currently, she oversees Atlanta and Dallas’s operations and works on a variety of different clients such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s.

Wendy Hsiao is an Account Director at Weber Shandwick. She graduated from UGA with a degree after completing many internships she moved to LA to work in Hollywood. She soon realized the expense and is now in Atlanta working on food and beverage accounts putting them in or out of the news.

Favorite projects:

Hsiao worked with Hank Aaron to celebrate one of his birthday parties. She was in charge many different things to keep the party running smoothly and was in awe of the amount of passionate, exciting attendees. During this event, millions of dollars were raised for a foundation.

Walsh worked on a project to incorporate AI into LED lights for automotive companies based on different weather. Additionally, she worked with Southern Company in partnership with the PGA Tour and attended an activation event. 

Day-to-day tasks:

Professionals from the panel with members of PRSSA after the meeting.

Golden’s typical tasks are managing accounts and clients overall and making sure that all parties are happy and making progress. She works to handle the entire account from asking the client what problem needs to be solved and delegating it to her internal team, to figuring out how to measure and build the campaign out.

Walsh’s agency is split into platform and planning sides, similar to media planners and media buyers. She specializes on the platform side and works on three different digital platforms: paid social, paid search and programmatic. She works analytically by telling a story through numbers.

Hsiao works in earned media. She is always thinking about who is in the news when working with clients and is focused on how to pitch things to the media. Getting clients in the news, writing pitches, writing press releases, updating media lists, mailers and coordinating media work are all part of her daily work.


Walsh advises to keep doing what you are doing now by staying involved at school and networking through organizations.

Hsiao encourages students to make sure to follow up with where you met and what was talked about. It is important to keep in mind people you reach out to have full time jobs and are making time for you, so be cognizant.

Golden recognizes the strongest young professionals with high levels of accountability, resiliency, curiosity and adaptability, as well as those who can build meaningful relationships.