The Public Relations Account Executive serves as the lynchpin of an account, executing the strategy derived by his or her higher ups. Much of their time is spent establishing and developing relationships within the industry, particularly with the media.
Account Executives are the engines of a campaign. They’re not only responsible for deliverables, but also for much of the client facing communication. In addition to media relations, account executives are responsible for creating branding asset for conference speakers, following through on event plans, creating meeting agendas, leading phone calls, creating relationships with key influencers, and maintaining relationships with other agencies or firms hired by their client. Consumer PR account executives are also responsible for tracking and maintaining inventory, and ensuring that product is shipped to any location where it’s needed. This is typically an agency role that requires 2-4 years of experience. Because it’s such a formative role in a PR career, it’s climbing the ladder is often a 3 step process of taking on a junior/assistant account executive, account executive, and senior account executive role.
Account executives report to account supervisors, account directors, and PR vice presidents. They typically manage an account coordinator and an intern.
Account executives must be able to balance an immense workload, multitask, and be detail-oriented. This is not a position that’s conducive to work-life balance. You must be willing to work under pressure and stress. You need to be independent enough to manage your own work load, but willing to taking direction as you’re ultimately responsible for delivering someone else’s plan.
If you’re considering applying for an account executive position, your resume should show that you’ve mastered a previous position as an account coordinator or it’s equivalent. It should also indicate that you have some pre-established key relationships that will provide value for your potential employer. Finally, it’s should demonstrate your work ethic and commitment to results.
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