PR and Communications

Has anyone ever had to compile a whole PR campaign as a writing assessment portion of an interview process? It’s for an AE position. Seems like free labor and free ideas that they can just run with.

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It’s unfortunately fairly common practice - ideally, you would need to do this for something that’s clearly a mock example. At the AE level, writing a press release or developing a media plan to show your knowledge of the space is not unheard of, nor is it excessive. But a full plan seems a bit much. I had one instance (for a VP spot) where I was asked to write a full strategic and tactical plan for the same client for which I was to work on if I received the job. I told the recruiter and internal HR person that I was glad to write it on spec, but if I didn’t receive the job, I would bill my time working on it at my prevailing freelance rate (and I also offered to send an NDA/scope of work before starting the assignment. As you can imagine, that interview ended pretty quickly.

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If you’ve gotten this far they are going to hire you. Just don’t fuck it up and you’ll be golden. If you kill it they’ll keep you in mind for strategic opps

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Yes, many PR firms ask for some sort of assessment, especially at the more junior levels. It’s used to assess writing abilities and how you approach projects, which is especially helpful for hiring managers if you do t have an extensive work history. I’d only be hesitant if it was VP 1’s situation, asking for a plan for the account you’re interviewing for.

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Very common

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An AE agency position? Big or small shop? Ad firm? This approach seems really common with the creative shops, but is rare from what I’ve seen with the traditionally PR agencies

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Yes it’s definitely new for me. In addition to a byline I have to write, I have to present essentially a mock PPT new business pitch that I’m working on as we speak, during my interview.

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