A Month into Agency Life

Hello! I am the latest acquisition to the Anthology team. My name is Tyler Simpson, and I come to Anthology after completing three years of in-house, non-profit communications. It’s been a month into agency life, and I am settling nicely!

Here are a few things to share about myself.

First, I love a good story. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy this line of work, why I love a good book, and why I am such a movie snob.

Second, you can always find out for a walk or a run around the D.C./Arlington area. I try to take care of myself physically and mentally.

Finally, I believe a good communications plan is like a good pastry: it’s layered and easy to digest. Full disclosure, you’ll probably see some baking puns in any future blog post from me. I’m a home baker, you see?

And yes, that is a Central Perk apron I’m wearing.

Anyway, I’ve already completed over a month of work with Anthology. While that may not seem like a great deal of time, it’s enough for me to understand the considerable differences between agency life and in-house communications. Here are several of said differences I have noticed:

Working with Like-Minded Colleagues: There is no room for loneliness when working at a PR agency. There will be teams with skill sets like yours working on different clients. Agency professionals come from different walks of life and can bring different perspectives and levels of expertise to a single account. This provides opportunities to brainstorm ideas with colleagues and work in an enjoyable, collaborative atmosphere. In contrast, if you are the only communications professional in an in-house environment, you might find your role very allusive to others in the company.

Resources Available – Public relations agencies usually invest in software tools that help them efficiently serve clients. For example, Anthology Communications utilizes Muck Rack to identify journalists and track media coverage for clients and Keyhole to manage a client’s various social media platforms and report key metrics. Some companies have tight budgets that could prohibit investing in these platforms and limit an in-house communication professional’s performance.

The Scope of Your Work – Agency professionals could be handling multiple clients, and the amount of work your client expects could be less or more depending on their needs. For instance, my non-profit communications role included a variety of responsibilities such as newsletter communications, webinar management, website analytics, communications research, media relations, and social media updates. Conversely, your first client in your new agency role could only require a single communications responsibility from you, whether it’s social media or media training. It’s all about fulfilling your client’s needs and offering the best expertise you can provide.

Opportunity to Work in Other Industries – Agencies can also provide a rewarding experience to expand your portfolio outside a single industry in which your previous in-house role worked. For instance, my last in-house role focuses on construction safety and health. Working at an agency like Anthology offers the chance to dip my toes in defense, veteran affairs, and workforce development, among others.

No doubt there is still more to learn about agency life, and I’m looking forward to my future as part of the Anthology team.