Never one to take the traditional route, I recently changed jobs in the opposite direction to most PRs I know. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from moving to a small PR agency after five years in house.

It’s the team that makes it
It’s been my experience that PR is a demanding and rewarding job no matter what side of agency or in house you find yourself on. But the one thing you always need, is a top tier team. Luckily, I’ve spent my whole career surrounded by smart, supportive and fun colleagues and it looks like I’ve struck gold with my new team as well. This is crucial in an industry that can often go at a million miles a minute.

Being an outsider
Something I took for granted when working in house was the immediate access to all areas of the business. If I needed some data or had a question about our product, the people I needed to speak to were never far away. Now, I’m starting to learn about new businesses but from a slightly removed position. However, not having the preconceptions that come with being in the business you’re talking about does have its advantages.

Like minded people
It’s refreshing to be surrounded by people who “get” PR all day. Sometimes being in house can be a little lonely, it only takes a few people in your team to be out at meetings before you find yourself manning the phones on your own. Being in such a small, vibrant agency is also the perfect environment for spontaneous brainstorms and learning from the wealth and variety of experience we all have.

Speaking of variety
There was never a dull moment in my in house role but being in an agency with clients from a dozen different industries – all with their own target media and objectives – is an eye opener. Bouncing between different tasks and thoughts at the flick of a switch keeps me on my toes and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

New beginnings
I’m eagerly anticipating my first pitch, having seen a few from the other side. But it’s not just the pitching you have to nail, the run up and initial proposals are equally important and not something I’ve done before now. Pitching and writing proposals are skills I’m consciously building up as quickly as possible, thankfully I’m working with PR stars who are happily teaching me everything they know.

Ailene is a Client Manager at Milk & Honey PR and can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.