A Day in the Life of. . .


                                 Assistant Account Executive

                                 GolinHarris, Chicago

The world of public relations is usually underestimated and rarely witnessed in its truest form.  There is never a shortage of work to be planned, executed and analyzed; asking professionals in this field to excel in the field of multitasking.


Witnessed instead are the masterpieces that help keep companies one step ahead of their competition and planning for the next three steps.  Few people realize the final product of a PR campaign is a small fraction of what has been thoroughly poured into each project, an iceberg profession as I like to call it. A strong team below the surface working hard to always support their client.


Like the work of a production crew on a movie set, PR professionals are rarely recognized for their tireless work of keeping corporations large or small in the brightest of light and applying the necessary makeup to their occasional blemishes.  Tasks the employees at GolinHarris wouldn’t have any other way.  A company unconsciously adhering to what Robert Yates once said:


“It is amazing what can get accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit.” 


It’s Wednesday.  A day the team would normally gather in a conference room for a 2-hour meeting to discuss current programs and upcoming plans with our client. However, today we have extended her an invitation to visit our office for the day for some face-to-face interaction.  Without question each team member has stayed in the office late the evening before and arrived early the morning of this rare occasion, carefully reviewing every item to be discussed during their brief thirty minute time slot. 


Our client is greeted with the usual smiling faces of our account leaders and guided into a conference room where she will spend her day with the team discussing the week’s “hot topics”.  The team, as usual, is utilizing every available second to double check, cross reference and “close the loop” on any campaigns they are a part of. 


As each member enters the conference room they immediately check their personalities at the door and transition into the calm, collected and prepared team our client has grown to know and rely on.  Everyone is primed with updates allowing each other to gracefully interject while preventing any type of contradiction. The organization of each meeting is imperative to ensure the client experiences nothing but flawless execution and encouragement.


Even the smallest gesture is important to a team. For example, while in one of the meetings, I notice a colleague searching for a copy to give the client.  The look on his face tells me he doesn’t have it but before the client can notice, another team member reaches for an extra set of copies they’ve made and quickly distributes them to the group as though it had been planned.  I blanket a smile knowing had I been in that position there would have been an extra set of copies circulated for me too. 


The day would continue with a seamless rotation of meetings keeping our client enthusiastic and busy.  Usually, an individual might grow tired of planting themselves in a foreign room for hours on end. Usually…but our team delivers an uncanny ability to maintain a buoyant attitude for hours on end and pepper the perfect amount of humorous anecdotes throughout the day to keep her entertained and relaxed. 


As the day closes, a unified sense of accomplishment falls over the team.  There were more “we’s” used than a room full of French lottery winners, but that’s just a day in the life of public relations at an agency, the home of teamwork.


My time at an agency thus-far has been brief but something that I have routinely witnessed and practiced is the strong team effort put forth on a daily basis by everyone. There are no small tasks in this business, everyone’s contributions are equally important. There is never an occasion that an assistant account executive doesn’t feel as important as an account supervisor, trust me.  It is this same sense of camaraderie that continuously produces the gratification and pride that keeps the employees of GolinHarris wanting more.   So, if you’re looking for self recognition in an individualistic environment, keep looking… here, it’s all about the team.

One thought on “A Day in the Life of. . .

  1. Javier! Well said! As a newer member to the PR profession myself, I came in thinking PR was cut-throat and made up of people seeking individual recognition. But the more time I spend working alongside my team members, like you, I too am quickly realizing the value of synergy and being a good team player.

    Thank you for sharing!

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