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Confessions of an Account Exec: Odd Jobs You Didn’t Sign up For

Confessions of an Account Exec: Odd Jobs You Didn’t Sign up For

Bridget M. Forney | MediaBuzz

When you interview for a job at a public relations agency, you learn about the environment, your coworkers, the starting pay and your benefits package. But there are a few job responsibilities that you might not find out about until after you’ve been hired.

Getting ad rates

Your client is hosting an event and decides they’re interested in buying advertisement space in a local print publication. Some companies have ad buyers who take care of such tasks, but sometimes you just have to call and get the information yourself. If you’re like me though, mathematics was not in the list of your top five school subjects you excelled in and the thought of dealing with and organizing these numbers sends you into panic mode. Even though no part of my job description includes the word advertising, I get what I need, bear it and move on. I live and (metaphorically) die by the phrase, “What the client wants, the client gets.”

Collecting quotes

One time, my company had this brilliant idea to propose one of our clients use customized snow globes as a give away item for a big event. The globes would have been a perfect fit for this press conference, so I was fully on board … until it was my job to gather cost estimates from random companies I found in a Google search. Similar instances have included ceremonial groundbreaking shovels, signage for events, custom-printed seed packets, customized surfboards, screen-printed wristbands, and many other very random items. Sometimes a great idea breaks, and you might be the one behind the scenes making it come to life. Still, collecting estimates and breaking down five quotes into a cost benefit analysis was probably never mentioned in the interview.

Applying for awards

Some public relations agencies measure their credibility by the amount of awards they accumulate over the years. Winning professional awards and being recognized by industry leaders is certainly noteworthy, but often times, the proposal of work for such an award includes a 50-100 page write-up of a specific project. That’s all good and fine, but it takes work and there are deadlines involved. It’s kind of like being in college again, except you have ten clients also vying for your attention. Did they go over that on training day?

Some odd jobs may be administrative, others are necessary evils, but you should always be prepared to confront a job responsibility you weren’t necessarily prepared for, and more importantly, go above and beyond by completing it.

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