By: Account Executive, Casandra Spahr
Last Friday, eight other girls and I explored the world of public relations in downtown Lansing. Many of the other group members had never ventured into downtown Lansing, so it was a whole day of new things. We visited Truscott Rossman, Marketing Resource Group (MRG) and Edge Partnerships.
We parked in the Allegan ramp and walked to our first agency, Truscott Rossman, the first stop of the day and our most “straight-laced” office to visit. When we stepped out of the elevator, I was overwhelmed by the number of awards and plaques in the lobby and overflowing into the capital conference room that overlooked the capital building. We were greeted by one of our fellow Spartans that interns in the office. After our tour and briefing about the typical day of an intern, we spoke to the vice president, Josh Hovey and president, John Truscott himself. Hovey and Truscott had a lot to tell us about what they do and what they look for in an employee. Some key points I took away was that the most important thing in entering the PR world is to be an excellent writer and that media relations mean everything. John told us that it is imperative that when working with the media you must “be real” and build relationships. We all got goody bags and moved onward.
We burnt some time between meetings and did what college students and professionals do best, coffee break at Grand Traverse Pie Co. It was nice to have a little time to spare as we got a mid-morning pick-me-up and started to get to know each other better. I even learned how to make a vegan pizza on a mushroom cap as we swapped backgrounds, stories and recipes over our Michigan Cherry coffee and muffins.
We walked a couple of blocks down Washington to MRG, our second stop and middle ground in work culture. There we spoke to executive vice president, Dave Doyle, account executive Eric Dimoff, and account coordinators Katherine Becsey and Jacob Winder. It was great having multiple people sitting in to answer our questions. They all spoke about their daily lives in the business and answered a lot of our questions about stepping into the work force, looking for jobs, interning and even going after positions that may be out of your experience range. They explained that as long as we can detail our experience and contributions in school and internships, there isn’t a reason that we can’t at least apply for positions looking for three to five years experience. Some advice they gave us was to always be on time, do your work quickly and help others when you’re finished, and that PR is about continued learning. We left with MRG mugs and headed to lunch.
After we grabbed lunch at Edmund’s and continued to get acquainted, we headed to our last stop.
We walked just a couple more blocks to the corner of Washington and Kalamazoo to Edge Partnerships. As soon as we walked in, we knew this place was different. The office had a unique style combining old and new, natural and contemporary architecture, furniture and décor. We met public relations and media specialist, Danielle Lenz and her intern, another fellow Spartan. We sat around a hand crafted conference table made in old town and learned what kind of work Edge does, then got a tour of their super unique office. We ventured into the basement where we saw dartboards and drinking games amidst the creative office, then upstairs where the partner offices are as well as a full kitchen equipped with kegerator, wine and Edge shot glasses as well as living and lounge area. We got to meet the office dogs and creative staff at the other desks on the main level. After the tour we sat back down and talked about Edge’s laid back atmosphere and what it takes to work there.
All in all, we got some great tips and experienced agencies in our very own Lansing on all levels of the cultural scale. I was happy to get to know some more fellow PRSSA members and learned a lot about PR as well as what employers are looking for as we enter the work force. A big thank you to Jessica Frost for organizing the tours for us!