What is the best college training/education for someone choosing a PR career?
While public relations courses are helpful, we have also found that the best education includes courses and extracurricular activities that strengthen written and verbal communications skills. Experience working in a team-oriented environment and having a wide range of interests that demonstrate intellectual curiosity is also very helpful.
I do not have any formal public relations training. How then do I move into the industry?
We suggest you visit any one of the following Web sites for general information as well as career advice.
What are Burson-Marsteller's internship opportunities?
Please visit Internships for information on our internship opportunities.
Where do you look for new people?
We find candidates through employee, client and alumni, referrals; job sites; associations specific to an open position; local colleges and universities; trade associations; networking; news releases and organizations like PRSA.
What qualifications do you look for in an ideal candidate?
Burson-Marsteller looks for candidates with excellent writing skills, strong client focus, intellectual curiosity, self-sufficiency and strong business growth and development skills. The more senior the level, the more helpful it is to have prior agency experience and the ability to lead and develop global teams working on complex projects. Also, we are all expected to be comfortable with digital tools and the new role digital technology plays in the way we work and live.
What are the different employee levels in Burson-Marsteller?
Please visit Career Directions to read about our six employee levels and various career paths.
In hiring at the middle management level, do you favor people with M.B.A.s or those with communications and journalism backgrounds?
It depends greatly upon the level of seniority and specialization. We usually favor candidates who have journalism and communications somewhere in their background. A business background is attractive for candidates working in our Corporate/Financial area, for example, although here again, an M.B.A. is valuable but not required. Our employee population boasts a wide variety of backgrounds and academic credentials, which adds to the diversity of experience and expertise we are able to offer our clients.
How do you attract talented people to Burson-Marsteller?
We attract them by offering the best career assignments and opportunities for professional growth; we retain them by living up to that commitment, which involves rewarding and recognizing them for the contributions they make. Additionally, we offer individuals the ability to work with some of the most talented professionals in Public Relations and Strategic Communications in one of the world's largest wholly-owned multinational networks in the world.
What do you think is the advantage in working for a PR firm over working in Public Relations for a client organization?
The diversity of client assignments and the role you can play as an outside "expert" is the principal advantage, but experience in a client organization is very valuable in a well-rounded career. Additionally, in a Public Relations firm you have the opportunity to develop your skills by servicing clients, working on exciting projects, providing strategic counsel and driving new business initiatives.
Is there career mobility within Burson-Marsteller?
Yes. Within the team you may join there will be a variety of opportunities available to you, which may include promotions to more responsible positions. There may also be opportunities to transfer full-time to another area, change offices within the same region, or move to a new region of the world. Burson-Marsteller also offers long (1-3 years) and short (3-6 months) term assignments. We try to balance the needs of the Company, our clients and the individual employees in finding the best opportunities for our best people.
What is the typical career path of a new B-M employee?
Based on motivation and professional competence, a variety of experiences await new employees. An individual can enter B-M at any level of seniority and take on increasing levels of responsibility within their original area of specialization; across a range of groups; across types of roles such as client leadership and key areas such as knowledge and insights; and in different parts of the world.
How does the company communicate with its employees?
Effective internal communications and dialogue between practices is a cornerstone of our company. A major component of our communications program is our intranet, B-M Source. B-M Source enables knowledge sharing worldwide. It features company news and announcements, information on products, services, new ideas and employee profiles. We are also part of InsideWPP, the intranet of our parent company, WPP.
What is the company's organizational structure?
Burson-Marsteller is organized around the businesses of our clients and the industries in which they operate. We have wholly-owned and affiliate offices in more than 50 countries staffed by professionals native to or with an expertise in those locations. We have fine-tuned the structure of our organization to most efficiently and effectively serve our clients. Every client has a clearly defined client leader who assembles teams based on the demands and opportunities of the client assignment. The client leader invariably taps into a variety of areas of expertise to assemble the best team.
What is the reporting structure?
Each employee has a supervisor to whom he or she reports. That supervisor has ultimate responsibility for evaluating the individual's performance and professional development. Client staff may work on several client teams, for which they report to a designated "Client Leader."
How is performance measured?
Once a year, employees are given feedback from their supervisor(s), peers and colleagues along with an opportunity to discuss development needs and career goals and make plans to address these needs and goals through training and job assignments.
How is Burson-Marsteller related to Young & Rubicam Brands/WPP?
Burson-Marsteller is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Young & Rubicam Brands and we share a number of important global clients. Young & Rubicam Brands includes Cohn & Wolfe, Sudler & Hennessey, Landor and Y&R Advertising. In October 2000, Young & Rubicam Inc. merged with WPP. This merger resulted in our becoming part of one of the world's largest and most powerful marketing communications companies. This places us in a unique position to lead and define our industry.