Are you looking to understand the basic structure of a PR agency? The world of PR agencies can be confusing, especially if you are someone looking in from the outside world. Here we have provided a basic structure of a PR agency and what various people do in the firm. We will tackle the most important part of the firm which is the team that provides services to clients. These teams are mostly similar in all agencies with some twists at different firms. However, functionally almost all agencies work in the same way.
The PR career path starts from the beginning with an intern. Internships are basically about studying. Interns study the PR world through the most common tasks and determine whether the PR agency and the public relations world are what they want to make a career in. At the same time, the agency studies the interns and determines which intern matches the environment of the firm. After the internship ends, it is very common to see the most efficient intern being offered a proper full-time job.
The number one full-time position in the track of PR careers is of the Account Coordinator or AC. They spend a lot of time compiling reports, writing, working on social media, working with media lists, and monitoring traditional media, they also maintain lists and databases and provide a good foundation for the team to build on. People usually remain in this role for one to three years, based on the organization of the PR agency and the initiative and performance of the individual.
When an AC is promoted after they have provided a consistent performance, they get to the position of Account Executive or AE. These people are the people that cultivate relationships. Someone who is a good AE will build a relationship with analysts, journalists, publishers, influencers, and everyone that can spread the word about whatever their clients are trying to gain publicity for.
Most of the time, AEs are those who write media releases, press releases, social posts, and analyst briefs amongst other things. If you ever receive a pitch on behalf of someone from an agency then most probably it was written by an AE. The pitch will be timely, relevant, and full of important information if the AE does his or her job well. Similar to ACs, Account Executives also stay in their position for one to three years based on their individual performance and the agency.
Senior Account Executive
Senior Account Executives are people that have good relationships with everyone and have a lot of professional accomplishments. They are the ones that handle tough pitches. They always have contacts with everyone from every field and can gain publicity with one tweet, message, or text. They handle media training, in-person meetings, and prep clients for tough interviews. They are the ones that also bring the most business to the agency. These Executives are at the top of their career and are often the last non-management job position in the structure of a PR agency.