contest -The McRae Agency

4 myths about PR agencies spreading across college campuses

By Ryan McShane | Posted: January 15, 2013

I’ve had many opportunities recently to work with members of the Public Relations Students Society of America nationwide as part of my industry service.

During mentor sessions, students often describe their job-hunting progress and feelings toward different areas of public relations. It is evident that many myths are still looming across campuses, and I’m here to teach from my experience.

MYTH: An agency is always the best career starter 

I have several arguments why most students should start their careers with an agency. Agencies help young professionals to discover their talents, broaden their knowledge, and develop relationships across the industry.

That said, several of my friends and colleagues have started their careers in-house and have achieved great success in doing so. Ultimately, agency public relations should be on your radar, but evaluate each job opportunity independently to find the right fit for you and your growth.

MYTH: Any agency will do 

Again, I’ll concede that having agency experience on your résumé will help you gain future employment. As an internship director, it’s comforting to find candidates with prior agency internships under their belts, because it shows these folks likely have experienced (and survived) the fast-paced environment that faced them.

Pace aside, many agencies do not observe ethics and best practices, and some of those flaws may follow you in the form of bad habits or a “what not to do” case study. Don’t be that case study.

MYTH: Agencies are short-term jobs 

This is a myth that I often hear when working with students and young professionals. It’s true that agency turnover is generally more volatile than in-house. Because of some of the things I mentioned above, agency practitioners often find opportunities to specialize in particular fields of interest.

However, many practitioners are cut out for a long-term career in agency public relations. Senior management often rewards this loyalty, as it sends a positive message to clients and the rest of the staff. A long-term agency path also enables you to maintain the fast-paced environment and diversified workload that many practitioners need to remain professionally hungry.

MYTH: Serving multiple clients will broaden my skills 

Benefits of working on multiple client accounts include learning different sectors and honing time management skills. Conversely, young professionals who are staffed across too many accounts are unable to completely immerse themselves into their clients’ businesses and needs.

In addition, working with too many clients will likely limit growth opportunities. Imagine being staffed across four to five clients. After monitoring for coverage, clipping placements, and building media lists, you’d likely need to repeat the same process for your next client to keep up with the workload.

Many agencies lose great young talent, because they limited their professional development. However, other agencies recognize the importance of challenging their staff on a daily basis—limiting their accounts plays a big part of that vision.


People will do a lot of things for money. One person ate a cockroach for $20. We don’t think it has to be that disgusting. Instead, we like to make it fun and sanitary. Does a $5 iTunes gift card sound like something you could use right now?

To celebrate Solatube International’s 20th Anniversary, the McRae Agency and Solatube International presents a social media contest and a chance to win a $5 iTunes gift card!

Solatube International Inc., the worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) is celebrating its platinum Anniversary this year.  The company invented TDDs, which harvest and distribute daylight in homes and commercial buildings, opening up an entirely new category in the lighting industry.  Solatube Daylighting Systems are now routinely installed as part of energy-saving and sustainability efforts in residential and commercial spaces around the world.

Now, here is the fun part:

If you haven’t been following the contest, here is a little boost. One of these sites has the daily hint of the day. Find out how to submit your answer and find out all of the contest rules. Make sure you do it soon because the contest ends this Friday, July 29!

Solatube’s Twitter:!/Solatube

Solatube’s Facebook:

The McRae Agency’s Twitter:!/PR_Buzz

The McRae Agency’s Facebook:

PR Tip # 19:  Build Your E-Mail Database and Buzz by Holding a Facebook or Twitter Contest

Create a unique contest that relates to your business’s expertise and announce it through your company’s social media platforms. By utilizing those platforms, you will attract followers and media toward your business, creating buzz!  As a part of your contest, collect the names and E-Mail addresses of contestants so they can receive electronic communication with you in exchange. This will build your E-Mail database and create a fan-base for future correspondence. Contest ideas include “Best,” “Worst,” “Makeover,” “Hottest” and so on. Be sure to announce the contest’s beginning and ending dates and select judges. Once you have successfully created buzz surrounding your contest, via social media posts, hold the contest and announce the winner! If applicable, announce the contest winner at a company event.

As an example, the McRae Agency hosted a “Hot Santa” contest in conjunction with an outlet mall, our client. Facebook was utilized to promote and nominate men as “Hot Santas.” We had a local fashion design school create the “Hot Santa” outfits for the men to model and be judged on the day of the event. Thanks to this creative idea, we were able to successfully promote the outlet mall, gain news coverage and build Facebook buzz.

So get thinking and create a contest for your company. And remember: Have fun with it!

At the McRae Agency, we are always looking for innovative ways to create buzz for our clients. Our newest buzz-worthy scheme: “Can you guess the event?” social media contest for our client, Solatube International.

We eat, breathe and love Solatube International and their products, and we think you should too. But, we also don’t live under a rock, nor do we want to force information down your throats. Instead, we encourage you to do the following:

  1. Interact with Solatube International and become involved in the “Can you guess the event?” social media contest. (P.S. follow the link for more contest information).
  2.  Check out Solatube International’s website.

Here is the most important factor of “Can you guess the event?” social media contest:

Daily hints will be sent out via our social media sites.

You never know what website will offer the best hint of the day, so be sure to follow us on all four pages and check back frequently!

Solatube’s Twitter:!/Solatube

Solatube’s Facebook:

The McRae Agency’s Twitter:!/PR_Buzz

The McRae Agency’s Facebook:

Good luck, fellow social media gurus!

Building BUZZ Since 1995