Each spring our agency gets a flood of resumes from college seniors armed with degrees in communications, public relations, English, journalism, etc. The quality of this year’s “class” was amazing. While we were lucky to add a few members of this group to our ranks, I was incredibly impressed with the skills and experience I saw in many of these young people.
The most stunning observation was that virtually all of the applicants had significant public relations internships, many at great agencies. They meticulously listed the skills they learned and what they observed. They were part of account teams, participated in brainstorms and even tried their hands at pitching. Most did some form of social media engagement, maybe the most common practice they experienced. In the old days I would have seem much more administrative work and the requisite media monitoring and press list creations. These muscles were still exercised by this year’s class, but it was more subdued.
The interviews with these candidates were equally impressive. Gone was the air-headed answer of wanting to go into public relations because I am “good with people.” Instead, they had an interest in strategy, engaging corporations with their constituents and building creative programs.
This year’s class was really one of the great transitions that has taken place in our industry. As public relations becomes a more serious discipline on college campuses, the training and experience of the young people entering our profession is getting better and that bodes well for our clients, industry and our agency.
Welcome Class of 2017, it is an honor to have you.