“A Look into Advertising Agencies” By Alyssa Gormley



As public relations majors, there’s a huge decision waiting for us once graduating – corporate or agency life? Some choose corporate life, where it’s easy to familiarize with one brand and one operations team. Others lean towards agencies, where every client and day is different.


Thankfully, I’ve got one more year of school to go before I answer that huge question and head off into the real world. However, this summer I decided to get my feet wet in agency life as the public relations intern for Marcus Thomas LLC, an advertising agency located in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m only two weeks in but I’ve already learned so much about advertising, public relations and all the moving parts in agencies. So, what’s it all about? Here’s some snippets of information about a few of the public relations departments in agencies:

Social/Influencer Marketing

First up is my favorite (so far) which is social/influencer marketing! Social/influencer marketing means researching and pitching to influencers so the agency’s clients can utilize influencers to advertise the client on their micro and/or macro social media following. Whether it’s discussing with influencers opportunities of all-paid for expenses or having influencers sample and review a client’s product on social media – this all falls under social/influencer marketing. On the social side, agencies use social marketing to socially listen and socially report for a client and their social media channels (think observe and analyze social media channels and analytics).

Media Relations
Media Relations consists of how the media perceives an agency’s client. Anything from writing press releases to building a relationship with media outlets to speaking to the press on behalf of the client is media relations. It’s often assumed that media relations and public relations are the same field, but public relations and media relations differ in activities and convey blurred lines at larger corporations. Nonetheless, media relations are a huge part of getting clients featured on media outlets and moving along the efforts of publicists.

Editorial Services

Long story short, editorial services means writing, writing and more writing. Whether it’s for a feature in a magazine or a section of a website, editorial writing is the opposite of copywriting and consists of lengthy, long and information writing for a client. Editorial services also edit, proof and review writing of any department before it goes public. Like media relations, editorial services also pitch to media outlets but for longer, more detailed features in the media and to larger media outlets.


Content Creation/Copywriting

Content creation for social media, advertisements, websites and more is done for clients of all sorts at advertising agencies. Specifically, at Marcus Thomas, content is created in their content box which is a low production value space for high quality photography and videography. Having a content box allows content to be created on site for little monetary value while the agency saves money by avoiding going through third parties. Copywriting is another huge part of public relations at any agency, as copywriting is the creative writing behind digital and/or traditional advertising.  Overall, the departments of content creation and copywriting hold many hats that require out of the box brainstorming and brilliance.

Agencies move quite quickly and though there’s many more moving parts that work together to serve the client in the best ways possible, this was just a snippet of the few rhymes and reasons of public relations in an advertising agency. If you’re interested in learning more about advertising agencies or Marcus Thomas LLC, feel free to reach out! Always happy to converse and help those in any way possible.

Alyssa Gormley is a senior studying strategic communication at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Currently, she serves as the Vice President of Chapter Development for PRSSA National. Connect with her on Twitter here.

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