By Lexi Holden
July 27th was my one year work anniversary at Allison+Partners and I am so proud to say I work at this agency. In just one year, I have been involved with numerous new business pitches, traveled to different cities, met my colleagues across the nation, and have continued to better myself in my career and skill sets.
A little bit about Allison+Partners
Allison+Partners is so cool in the sense that I don’t just work with my Chicago team. I am constantly talking to other offices – Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Portland, you name it! A+P is a global agency that provides public relations services to just about any industry (beauty, hospitality, food, beverage, corporate, and more!) and one of the reasons I love working at A+P is because when I get to travel to the different offices, it’s like I already have an office buddy waiting for me and who can say they are so excited to see their colleagues that they give hugs when they see them?! I would say not too many. I think this agency goes beyond having colleagues to work with, but you have friends who have your back too. When I am in NYC it’s countless happy hours and laughs after a long work day, and when colleagues are visiting in Chicago, I love hanging with them! I encourage you to meet new colleagues across your network, grab a coffee when you can, and always stay in touch!
So you like, work full time AND blog?
Yes! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Another thing I have done in the last year more than any other time during my PR career is combine my passion for PR with my passion for blogging. I have been able to lead influencer programs on behalf of clients and it makes me SO excited to come to work every day. I have even been able to use my influencer relationships to pair influencer friends (they are IRL friends too) with brands that are a fit. The fact that I have a chance to highlight my friends and their brands within my job makes me jump up and down for joy. I love my job, I love my friends, and I love combining the two. Something else that is special about where I work is that my team is so supportive of my blog and I have been able to meet other colleagues who blog too! A+P is always supporting one another and it makes going to work every day that much more enjoyable.
Be open to working on new accounts
I have the most experience working on consumer brands (food and beverage specifically), but at A+P I have worked on a few tech and corporate accounts too. At first it was daunting and scary- it was outside of my comfort zone! But once I took the time to learn more about the client, their goals and needs, I worked with my team to make sure I was clear on what we were doing, and gave 100%. At the end of the day I was only expanding my public relations horizons, so why not?
Don’t Be Afraid!
I quickly learned after joining Allison+Partners, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Whenever a partner is visiting our office or I want to learn more about what a certain client of ours is doing, I try and schedule coffee or a phone call to chat with my colleagues. It is always great, especially early on in your career, to have as much face time with your senior team as possible. Make them know who you are and show them your skills! I try and do that as much as I can, and when I do see our senior team members, it feels great knowing who they are and that they know me too. (There are over 300 employees at A+P, so the fact that a partner remembers your name is low key AWESOME.) For some of our clients that interest me as a person, I love asking questions about different events going on and activations (especially our beauty and hospitality brands- such great work). I encourage you to ask about other people’s day, what they are working on, and how all the moving pieces fit together to produce a great campaign.
Lend a helping hand
I am constantly trying to lend a helping hand whenever I can. After being at A+P for a year, no matter what level you are on, everyone here will do any task to get the job done and with that, done well. It is all hands on deck and even our Vice Presidents and above are always willing to help and take the time to provide guidance. There are never any strict lines drawn on who does what. Of course we all have specific roles and responsibilities, but it really feels like a team here.
No “I” in TEAM
A team. The last thing I will note after being in my position for a year, is your team always has your back. Treat others the way you want to be treated, even in the work place, because creating these work relationships that turn into friendships means your colleagues understand you, they like you as a person, and you want what is best for one another. I hope I can continue to make new relationships at Allison+Partners, work on new teams to meet new people, and do the best I can do.
Here is to another year of hard work, new experiences, good times and laughs.
Lexi Holden, a DePaul University graduate, is an account executive in the Chicago office of Allison+Partners. In her spare time, she writes a fun city life and style blog, Lex and the City, where this article also appears.