Arrested Development: How to Fix the Broken PR Agency Learning Curve

Number of years may not be the best measurement of experience, but you can’t rush and fake experience either. As a fresh-faced communicator I compensated for a lack of experience with a confident belief that I could figure most things out. I was, you could argue, more often than not acting out what I thought to be right rather than knowing what was right based on experience.

If you are lucky enough to work in a dynamic environment then by the time you have five to ten years’ experience in PR and communications, you will have accumulated considerable skills to bring to bear on client challenges. Unfortunately, the hierarchical pyramid model that is that instead of passing on this value to clients people become bogged down in the world of management.

Management is a different type of learning and a rewarding path for some, but the reality is that it is a distraction from delivering great work for clients. Look at a lot of agencies and you will see that 40%-50% of their employees will have less than a few years’ experience. These are the worker bees. Their superiors are tasked with training, line management, providing quality assurance, and managing budgets and agency finances.

There are four problems with this ingrained agency template. I’ve written about these in-depth on, read more, here.