Intesa is my first real agency gig. I’ve spent more than two decades working in various communications roles — from deep in D.C.’s political and corporate trenches to stints at San Diego nonprofits. Through it all, I’ve held some really cool jobs. Yet I hadn’t officially experienced full-time life at a PR firm until now. In 2019, I joined Intesa as its first PR Director. I’m handling an impressive book of business, managing two talented individuals on my team, and am happier than ever.
The transition from being an in-house strategist, working for one “client” or “candidate” to answering to multiple bosses takes a minute to get used to, and it’s not for everyone, but it absolutely suits me. Here are five insights that may be useful for anyone thinking about taking the agency leap:
1. Get ready to multi-task
Intesa is a boutique agency offering PR, government, and community relations expertise. We switch gears throughout the day and wear multiple hats (and matching vests). We keep each client’s priorities top of mind and think on our feet. There’s no time to “overbake the biscuits,” as Margie likes to say, by overthinking challenges and deliberating yourself into a corner. We’re decisive and deliver expert advice. It’s why our clients hire us. We execute with excellence and stay on task. We like to leave each person in a better place than we found them!
2. Be flexible and never take your eye off the ball
At Intesa, we’re quick, resourceful, and nimble. Gone are the days when our boss needs to see us at our desk to prove we’re being productive. Our positive outcomes speak for themselves. Each team member is a value-add, can multi-task, and is often pulled into projects on a moment’s notice. We deliver for our clients, whether we’re providing quality ideas, innovative concepts, or original content. It all happens regardless of where we’re getting it done. All that matters is that we meet the highest standards and exceed client expectations. If you can’t execute at that level, Intesa isn’t the place for you.
3. Unleash your creative genius
At Intesa, we don’t do things because it’s the way they’ve always been done. It’s quite the opposite. We bring our best ideas every day as we only work with people whose missions we believe in and thrive on offering strategic counsel, unique approaches, and creative flair. Our work is flavored by our unique experiences and backgrounds — all of which are varied and from different industries — and tailor our results to meet clients’ objectives as defined in their scope. We don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to our work because every client is different. Being lazy is not in our DNA.
4. Be expedient, efficient and keep an eye on the budget
Even though we have a small but mighty team, we’re not afraid to take on big projects. We’re not the firm assigning interns to our projects either. Each and every team member brings a unique perspective to whatever challenge presents itself. Of course, there are exceptions and scopes can expand when the unanticipated need arises but that’s ok; we’re flexible, agile and can course correct on the fly.
5. Above all, be present and have fun!!!
We work hard and we play hard. We enjoy fun lunches or “funches” in between client meetings. We spend time with our friends and families. We maintain a healthy work-life balance. Oh, and our holiday parties are legendary.
As with any major life move, talk to your mentors, friends, and colleagues before making the leap. Doing the groundwork ahead of time and finding out the ins and outs of industries that interest you can provide you with valuable insight and perspective as you consider embarking on a different career path. Above all, enjoy the journey as you explore different avenues; one of which just might lead you to Intesa!