From LinkedIn workshops to International Conference, Illinois State University’s PRSSA chapter is jam packed with professional opportunities for students of any major. Some of the largest and most highly anticipated events of each semester in PRSSA are the fabulous and informative public relations and marketing agency tours. These tours cater to extraordinarily driven students who are ready to dive headfirst into their careers. ISU’s PRSSA chapter has been lucky enough to attend agency tours at global public relations and marketing agencies such as Golin, Ketchum, Fleishman Hillard, and even Weber Shandwick. Although these tours are filled with excitement and enthusiasm, they can also be a bit intimidating. As a third-year ISU PRSSA member and avid agency tour attendee, I’m here to explain the five emotional stages of agency tours as I have seen and experienced firsthand.
The very first emotion felt leading up to an agency tour is most certainly overwhelming confidence. You have completed extensive research on the organization, and feel as though you know the ins and outs of the agencies like the back of your hand. You have your questions completely prepared for the Q&A portion of the tour, fresh resumes printed, and business cards at the ready. You are taking all the steps necessary to ensure you are completely prepped and confident when you step through the doors of each agency.
The second emotional stage of an agency tour happens on your drive to the location of the organization. This emotion is pure, unadulterated nervousness. Are you actually dressed in business casual clothing? Did you do enough research on each company? Will you make it to the agency on time, or will you get pulled over because your chauffeur is driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit? Bona fide panic and anxiousness are felt on the way to an agency tour.
Emotional stage number three is attentiveness. You become quiet and focused as you enter the agency and begin listening to the experienced professionals discuss their organization in depth. You are wholeheartedly interested in every single word these people are saying, and you don’t want to miss a thing. Hearing from frontline and successful employees is what you attended the tour for in the first place. All of your research and preparation has led you to this moment, and you are sure to take notes on every piece of information and advice these professionals are giving you.
Agency tour emotional stage number four is the most uncomfortable, and most commonly experienced stage of any agency tour. This stage revolves around the feeling of self-doubt. The self-doubt stage tends to occur right in the middle of the tour, when you are learning just how meticulous public relations and marking agency work can be. Some of the questions you may ask yourself at this point could revolve around your competence, if the PR field is right for you, if you can handle this type of job, etc. But not to worry! This feeling does not last forever.
The fifth and final emotional stage of an agency tour is excitement. Although you may have felt a bit overwhelmed hearing all that goes into a career in PR or marketing, you leave the agency tour feeling excited about what your future holds. You put aside the feelings of nervousness and intimidation, and look forward to what’s ahead of you. I see this feeling in every person who has attended an ISU PRSSA agency tour, and have felt this emotion myself. The fifth emotional stage of agency tours reminds all who attend that you are good enough, and that you can do this!
By: Mattie Bean
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PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.