By: Kaitlyn Baase
On Friday, February 1st, Ferris State PRSSA took a visit to Grand Rapids for a tour of different PR agencies.
The first stop in Grand Rapids was at Lambert, Edwards & Associates, which is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with clients based in 20 states and five countries.
This is personally my second time touring LE&A. And every single time I go there, I fall more in love with the atmosphere there. All of the workers are so laid back and funny, yet they know how to be serious. One thing I love about LE&A is they say they are one of the only PR firms that can read an income statement. This stuck a lot with me since Ferris’ PR Program is based out of the college of business. LE&A gave some really good feedback about agencies, and even shared some funny stories of how they got their jobs at LE&A.
Next stop on our tour was Van Andel Arena. This was unlike any other place I’ve visited for a PR tour. We got a tour of what goes on behind the scenes, saw the kitchen, and even got to check out the dressing rooms for concerts. While there, I spoke with their intern and he gave me some really great advice about having a good interview. He said to do your research before you get there and tell your potential future employers what you can do for them.
After a nice lunch on Ferris State’s Grand Rapids Campus, we headed over to Amway. Amway is one of the coolest firms I’ve ever seen. When we walked in, we were shown a short clip about Amway and what they do. Then we were taken into a mini museum and shown more about Amway’s clients. They had tons of cool gadgets, such as a device that showed your real age based on what life decisions you have made.
After some fun in the museum, we were taken to a panel of five PR workers at Amway. They gave us great advice about our futures, finding internships, and even gave Dr. Bishop advice on how to better prepare us for the future. A woman who started out in journalism and made her way into the PR world gave me my favorite piece of advice. She said she called up a magazine that she was interested in working with as an intern. They told her they have never had an intern before. She then responded by asking if they would be interested in having one. She really emphasized how important it is to get experience where you want it. Another man on the panel talked about the importance of interning where you are interested in as well. He said he has interned for places such as XBOX, Red Bull, and others.
The agency tour was an overall success. Here are what some students had to say about the agency tour:
-“Each place was very different it was nice to get a little taste of everything from a smaller firm like LE&A to something huge like Amway,” said Morgan Andree.
-“It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between corporate and agency PR,” Kyle Bergman said.
-“Being able to visit LE&A opened my eyes to a potential career in agency PR,” said Tarah Bourke.
I personally thought that this agency tour changed my life. My eyes have been opened to different types of PR out there. Hopefully I can use my experience from #PRinGR to create an even better future for myself.
Thank you to those who helped make this agency tour happen. We are very fortunate to have PR Pros out there who are willing to share their time with us.