The Circle of Influence

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Organizational Culture is KEY!

Hey everyone,

After going to American University's PRSSA conference, I along with a couple other Influence PR members have learned that the culture of the PR firm you work for can and will determine whether or not you are hired, kept on, and able to grow professionally.

Liz Koslov had the opportunity to tour PR firm Hill & Knowlton. Here's what she had to say:

For me, I think the tour of Hill & Knowlton on Friday was my favorite part of the weekend. It was great to see how a large PR firm functioned. I was surprised to hear how high the turnover is...and the oldest person I saw in the office had graduated four years ago. Everyone said that the best way to get more seniority in a PR firm is to jump around and develop alot of experience with different clients. They emphasized how important it is to only stay somewhere for as long as you are really learning and challenged. Both of the Account Execs said that it was overwhelming at first working at an international PR firm, because of the fastpaced environment and the heavy emphasis on billable hours. Although they tend to get home past 7 at night, they both said they love the work and that they are incredibly close to everyone they work with. They The office environment seemed relaxed and fun and there was alot of collaboration. It definitely made me want to intern at a similar agency.

While Liz toured Hill & Knowlton, I was able to learn a bit about another large firm, APCO Worldwide. Unlike H&K, APCO has a very low turnover rate. The HR director and General Manager for the DC office gave the impression that employees stay with APCO for long periods of time. They said that close to 10 people in the firm are approaching 20yrs with the group and that close to 30 employees have been with them at least 10 yrs. One comment that caught my attention was General Manager's statement about an employee's age while he spoke about the low turnover rate. He said: "Well, Bill came in as an account exec and he's worked his way up. He's a pretty young guy, about 35 years old." That could be his perspective or it could be an indicator of the fact that a number of their employees are much older. You can decide that one, but in the job and internship search, don't forget organizational culture is KEY!


  • Great info. Thanks for sharing :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 AM  

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