Sometimes the road to a career in PR doesn’t lead through an agency

March 6, 2019

By Liz Hardy

Considering a career in public relations, but not sure if you have the right skills? You don’t necessarily have to come from a traditional PR background. Read on to find out why you may want to join an integrated PR team in this day and age.

During my last year of college, I spent a semester as a PR intern for a consumer products company. It was 2004 and though the internet was growing in popularity, Amazon sold only books, a college website called “The facebook” had just launched, and people primarily shopped at big box stores. Fifteen years later, all aspects of PR practically demand the internet – so you can imagine how different PR was back then.

Our firm believes that clients receive the most awareness and experience the most success when PR, marketing, content, and branding work together. The common thread between professionals isn’t necessarily an agency background or years in PR, but a shared philosophy that an integrated approach is what drives success.

I left my internship with some great skills but I knew that I didn’t want to spend my days endlessly dialing magazine editors, convincing them to recommend a product. I ended up working in marketing and began designing, writing, and planning events - among many other things. Since the industry I chose was finance, most marketing departments did minimal PR – we put out fund or financial releases and answered inbound questions from reporters. It wasn’t until I pursued a different industry that I really learned where marketing and PR intersected.

As the director of marketing for a youth mentoring organization, my team developed brand, website, content, social media, analytics and events. We determined what messaging would be best for different stakeholders and how best to drive users to the relevant places. As our efforts grew, our public relations strategy naturally evolved as we spoke with publications wanting to cover us in youth-focused stories. I saw how marketing drove PR and the public image and perception of an organization.

It takes many people with different skills to build a department that serves so many functions to an organization – but I really noticed it when I joined BackBay Communications. Having never been employed by an agency, I was nervous about joining – did I really know what PR entailed? I quickly learned that as an integrated public relations firm, BackBay takes a holistic approach to its programs. Our firm believes that clients receive the most awareness and experience the most success when PR, marketing, content, and branding work together. The common thread between professionals isn’t necessarily an agency background or years in PR, but a shared philosophy that an integrated approach is what drives success.

For example, my team – focused on asset management clients – is steered by a former magazine editor. Joined by a former journalist, our clients have incredible access to professional writers to help them develop tailored content to target the right audiences and pitch to the right publications. Our newest team member joined us straight from college, and her pulse on digital trends and technology has helped refine our social media techniques and topics we use with clients. And though I do spend time speaking with reporters and editors, my love for design and branding has helped many of our clients refine their messaging and rebrand their organizations.

Even though we all pitch in on everything we do for our clients, ensuring we have the best product, we’re a melting pot of backgrounds. We need that writer to drive content marketing strategy – an essential to all companies today. Maybe you love technology? Our fintech team works with clients on the cutting edge of financial technology – where industry knowledge is truly valued. Don’t feel like you are limited by your title, industry, or background if you’re considering a career in PR – an integrated strategy is only made better by our differences.

BackBay Communications is always looking for great additions to our team. Ready to take the leap into integrated marketing and public relations? Drop us a note.