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A rewarding career beyond Champagne and celebrities
Published on Thursday, 14 Oct 2010
Illustration: Bay Leung

Apart from glamorous parties and meeting celebrities, a career in public relations can be rewarding for ambitious graduates.

Sarah Woodhouse, group managing director for PR agency Impact Asia, says that compared with working in-house for one organisation, agency life is led at an often much faster pace and offers the opportunity to deal with a larger variety of clients.

"Every day is different," she says. "Account executives must be very detail-orientated and adept at balancing a variety of activities at one time.

"These include media relations, client reporting and client liaison, and general client servicing, on top of other general administrative duties that contribute greatly to the flow of a public relations agency."

The ability to build relationships with clients, journalists and colleagues is essential, as it is likely that account executives will have close contact with clients and media on a daily basis, Woodhouse says.

"Learning and developing writing skills to draft press releases and marketing materials is also important, as is the ability to secure message-driven articles in media publications."

An account executive, who is usually at an entry-level position, supports a team with a specific client focus, such as consumer, corporate, technology, public affairs or financial, and ensures that all requests from media and clients are met, and on time.

An account executive typically stays in the position for a year or two before becoming a senior account executive for another year or so, and then moving up to the role of account manager. At this level, they will be managing their own clients.

From this position, PR professionals can expect promotion to senior account manager and then account director. Then they can move into agency management.

Account executives are expected to have a university degree or higher in a related discipline such as marketing, English, or communications.

The average monthly salary is HK$10,000 to HK$14,000.


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