Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hill + Knowlton Strategies

On Wednesday, November 11, The Mohawk PR program was given the opportunity to visit Toronto and tour some PR agencies. Since the program is dedicated to mostly in-class learning, this trip gave us the opportunity to see what some of our lives in the real world would be like. It was intimidating.

Hill and Knowlton Strategies is one of Canada’s leading communications consultancies. They focus on delivering their expertise in public relations, public affairs, digital communications and social media, engagement strategies, content marketing and research. That was a mouthful.

As our second agency of the day, HK Strategies was much different from the boutique agency, Maverick. While Maverick housed about 20 employees, HK Toronto boasted more than double.  HK was also located in an office building with a much more formal vibe while Maverick’s home was a Victorian style heritage home near downtown.

When we arrived at HK, it was a little intimidating. We entered into a tall Toronto office building with professionals coming and leaving to business meetings, pitches, interviews, and other adult responsibilities. We jumped into the elevator and were welcomed on the 8th floor by a very open concept office and directed into a presentation room. We were very lucky to hear Boyd Neil, senior vice president, discuss what he does on a daily basis and the most important aspects about working in PR.

What stood out about HK Strategies was the professionalism by which they carried themselves. After coming from the trendy Maverick agency, HK was like a completely different world of business suits and sensible shoes.

While it was definitely interesting to get a little peak into the life at a PR agency, HK taught me that I do not want to work the agency life. Yes it is exciting; you’re doing new tasks every day, meeting new people, and helping new clients. However, working for one client you can understand inside and out and build a strong relationship with sounds more appealing to me.

I am extremely thankful we got the opportunity to go on this trip as a class. We’ve been told what to expect going in to certain fields, but you will never fully understand until you get to experience it first hand. Getting a glimpse into what our lives will be like after graduation, if we choose the agency life, opened my eyes. It has helped me become more specific in my job search and relieved a little stress from my life.

Thanks for reading!

Simone Mekli

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