marketing-agencyBy: Kaleb Miller

I recently sat in on a presentation from Matt Kelly, an account director for the major advertising/PR agency Golin based out of Chicago, Illinois. You may not know him from the start, but does #PuppyMonkeyBaby ring a bell?

Yep. He was behind that. As ridiculous and catchy as that big time Super Bowl commercial was, it made huge waves as it sparked a global conversation about Mountain Dew, surely pleasing the marketing teams at both Mountain Dew and PepsiCo.

Check out more about last year’s Super Bowl advertisements in my earlier blog post from February, Who Scored Big at #SB50 (And Who Didn’t).

Many of these big advertisements aren’t coming directly from the company of which they represent, as you may or may not know. They will more than likely come out of an agency that focuses marketing/advertising/public relations for companies both large and small. They take in accounts (companies and organizations) and work with their teams to create a marketing campaign or specific advertisement that will generate success.

So as a marketing/advertising/PR professional, should this be the path you take? Of course no path is specifically right, but Matt Kelly gave me a pretty conniving argument for the benefits or working in an agency.

One of the first major take aways from this presentations was the perception I received that the environment of agencies is pretty socially centered. These agencies promote creativity and open thinking, and that starts with their work environment and their employees. They encourage work parties, social gatherings, and time spent away from the office together. What better HR tool could you need? Happy employees = happy work habits = creative minds. Of course, with this should come the “work hard, play hard” mentality.

Something else I noted is the learning opportunities that seem to come with working in this type of atmosphere. When you’re working with others to manage an account, your working on a team and learning how to manage yourself, your time, and others. You are adapting to change wackily, meeting deadlines, and learning new tricks and skills with every new client. It really appears that working in an agency brings many lessons to be learned and can really help those who work in them to grow as professionals.

I’d also add in that agency life seems to be stable, while allowing for professional networking all at once. According to, the national pay scale for an employee of an advertising agency is anywhere from 40,000-100,000 depending on the position. That’s a pretty significant salary for someone, especially those who are younger and looking to start their career. This steady income is normally paid with good benefits and often paid holidays off. Again, great HR tools for a happy employee environment. Not to mention, the opportunity for vertical movement is a pretty big plus.

Agencies are a part of a bigger, global community of advertising and communication professionals. These types of jobs can open doors to network with other account executives, marketing professionals that work for your clients, and media owners, and consultants as well. We all know networking is the key to advancement, and agencies provide a multitude of opportunities to meet others with similar interests as your own.

Like I mentioned, some may be interested in working for a business or company, and some may be interested in working for an agency. This is something that students should begin to take into consideration as they prepare their careers. Find your best fit! Doesn’t work out like you thought? Adjust! Find where you are happiest and can enjoy the work you do every day.

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