Hill & Knowlton Canada information session: a report

I attended an information session at Hill & Knowlton Canada today and thought I would share some of my thoughts and tag it to a new category, “Jobbing Out” where I’ll discuss the environment of employment in public relations and corporate communications.

The hour-long presentation led by Human Resources Manager Paule Bellegarde laid out a history of Hill & Knowlton, a brief overview of the practice areas of the company and the progressive stages of titles throughout the corporate hierarchy. The floor was then turned over to members of the consumer, technology and corporate practices, respectively, who very briefly discussed their backgrounds and clients and then fielded questions from the audience.

If this all sounds standard, it’s because it is. There is a growing trend among agencies to hold information sessions as an alternative to fielding requests for information interviews. While it streamlines the process and possibly creates a crowd-induced excitement or reverence for the agency, the knowledge gained from each additional session can easily become routine.

Nevertheless, these sessions are often the best way for up-and-coming PR stars to literally get their feet in the door of an agency. The hiring practices in PR are almost exclusively network-based which means the jobs will never get publicly posted. So if you’re trying to get in I recommend making every effort to make friends with the HR staff at the agencies you target. Ask to meet with them under other pretenses: for an information interview, to follow up on a session or even to buy them coffee and just say hi.

I’m thinking about putting together a best and worst interview questions post and possibly an online job searching post. If anyone has any suggestions for further Jobbing Out topics please leave a comment or contact Stractical through the ‘About’ link.

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5 Comments

  1. Hello Adam,
    Thank you for the review. For future reference, my name is: Paule Bellegarde.

    Thank you,

    Paule

  2. Paule,

    Thank you so much for the correction and for visiting the site.

  3. Another good strategy is to link to the blogs and podcasts of practitioners inside those agencies you want to work at. They’ll notice you, like I did. They’ll read you and decide if you’ve got the goods. Blogging is a great way to stand out.

  4. Thanks for the suggestion, David.

  5. I also attened an information session today and I thought it was quite interesting on how it all played out. There was a lot of good information given by Paule Bellegarde and excellent questions asked by future hopefuls to get into the industry. Paule if you are reading this I think you should have a questionnaire at the end of the session to get some feedback on the thoughts of those who attened. If you are interested in what H&K is all about attend an info session well worth it.


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