Recently, Michigan State University Public Relations Student Society of America extended an invitation to our chapter to participate in their annual agency tours. The MSU chapter coordinated meetings to three different agencies for two sets of tours. One set of members visited Airfoil Public Relations, General Motors and Franco Public Relations. The other set visited Jack Morton, Eisbrenner Public Relations and Bianchi. Agency tours are an opportunity for PRSSA students to meet with professionals to learn more about a particular agency and to talk one-on-one with the company.
I had the opportunity to tour Airfoil PR, GM headquarters and Franco PR Group with the MSU PRSSA Chapter. While touring the following agencies, I was impressed with the diversity and professionalism of each individual agency. The emphasis of each agency varied from technology and advancing transportation to hospitality and retail.
Airfoil Public Relations, which is, a technology based marketing communication agency, was engaging and beneficial with every aspect of public relations. Jennifer Cattini, the human resources manager for Airfoil PR, along with additional with staff such as Mary Esler and Jamie Patrona, to name a few, encouraged questions and supplied information for students entering the PR workplace. I was convinced that I left Airfoil PR with valuable input based on their work ethics, enthusiasm for their clientele and an anticipation for the advancing technology world.
General Motors redefines the term for Motor City and I have a great respect for the company. Mary Henige, who is also the Wayne State PRSSA chapter professional advisor, welcomed the students with engaging ideas and encouraged questions. I was fascinated with the workplace and how GM operated day-to-day. Mary was accommodating and resourceful in answering student’s questions about GM.
Franco PR Group, which is one of Detroit’s veteran PR agencies, was both enjoyable and informative. I was intrigued by the work ethic and foundation of Franco PR Group. Michelle Zdrodowski, the vice president of Franco, along with many other professionals provided invaluable advice for our PRSSA group in regards to the workplace. The guidance had generated an appreciation for the well-roundedness of the overall PR agency, in which I intend to pursue, promptly.
I truly appreciated the time each agency took to meet with our groups. It’s so amazing to hear from professionals in the field and see how they undergo their day-to-day business. I was excited to get a feel for each company’s culture, attitudes and core values. At each stop, I learned something that motivated to move forward in my career.
Our first stop, Jack Morton, inspired me to think outside the box and to stay positive in every situation. I was mesmerized by Jack Morton’s strategic brand experiences and the large scaled events their teams create and flawlessly implement. The professionals- who spoke to us had amazing expertise in their field. They advised us to always find opportunities that interest us and learn by every experience.
Eisbrenner Public Relations brought a fun and exciting look into the life of business-to-business public relations. Each member of the team showed great enthusiasm and passion for their jobs. Their new location in Royal Oak was magical and reflected their individuality and energetic nature. I loved listening to Tom Eisbrenner talk about the company’s core values, especially their value of treating the world with respect. I was inspired to think of ways I can help support the community and environment.
Our last final tour was at Bianchi PR, who were very welcoming and had a very comforting environment. Although this was the smallest agency we visited; their huge passion for what they do immediately shined through. I enjoyed listening to Jim Bianchi speak about the importance of building relationships and delivering superior service to select clients. This inspired me to specialize on what I am competent in and focus on creating strong relationships with professionals.
Given that I am responsible for professional development initiatives for our chapter, I was very excited that MSU PRSSA extended an invitation for us to join their day of agency tours. I knew that I, as well as the rest of our members, would greatly benefit from seeing how another PRSSA chapter operates, especially when it comes to professional development.
I was not disappointed. I took part in the tour that included Jack Morton, Eisbrenner PR, and Bianchi PR. Each agency was so different, and offered unique advice that is crucial in understanding the public relations industry. Throughout the tours, the agencies remained consistent as they presented valid points on company values: solid communication, writing and networking skills. They also all expressed the importance of being real about yourselves and being outgoing and loving what you do.
To be able to get a glimpse into three extremely different organizations that all ultimately have the same goal, to help communicate a client’s message, was a valuable learning experience. I look forward to taking what I learned, and using it to better our chapter for the rest of the year.
On behalf of those who were able to attend the agency tours, we want to thank Michigan State University PRSSA Chapter for extending an invite to the Chapter. We also would like to thank the professionals for their time, commitments to PRSSA and most importantly, the continued dedication to helping students advance into the PR profession.
Friday, February 25 | Eisbrenner PR | agency tour
Friday, March 25 | GM Headquarters | lunch and learn
Post written by:
Vice President of Professional Development – Erica Rogers | Twitter: @Erica_Rogers
Vice President of Chapter Development – Rachel Stuyvenberg | Twitter: @Rachel714
Social Media Director – Amy Bass | Twitter: @ABass7