By Jill Golden
In Hannah Riffle and John Soriano’s professional development session, The 9-to-5s of PR: The Difference in Agency and Corporate Life, they shared helpful advice. Advice for students to gain a better understanding of what the differences are between the two fields from an inside perspective. They also shared advice for students on how to land that dream job in the future.
While there are many pros and cons about both fields, Riffle and Soriano clarified that some pros can be seen as cons to others and vice versa. So it’s important to think about what you are interested in, not what sounds right according to your peers.
“You can make it your own and find a really rewarding experience,” Riffle said.
Soriano, who worked at a small corporate office in Hong Kong, said that depending on the company, the PR department at a corporation can be small at times. While he was working in Hong Kong, his PR department included him and another co-worker. Larger corporations on the other hand typically have PR departments broken up into many departments and teams.
Riffle and Soriano also talked about the ability to be loyal to one brand at a corporate office versus having a variety of fresh and diverse clients each day. They both recommend if you are unsure about what kind of PR field to go into to try out agency since you can sample different clients to find which area you are most interested in. Some may love that client variety at an agency, while others may love the loyalty of focusing on one company at a corporation.
The work/life balance at corporate offices and agencies are different as well, since agencies typically require longer hours and a time entry of the amount of time you work for each client. Corporations allow for a better work/life balance since they follow a typical nine-to-five work day.
Among the differences between the corporate and agency world of PR, Riffle and Soriano ended with some important advice for all students who are heading into their careers. Some of their advice included: never fear asking questions, ask about the employee culture during an interview, internships are key to show an employer your real-world experience and “don’t limit yourself – you’re only limiting your ability to do great things,” – John Soriano.
Riffle and Soriano certainly went into more detail and included more differences between the two fields during the hour-long session, so I’ll ask all of you, what other similarities and differences have you noticed during your time working or interning for an agency or corporation?