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Thoughts on client side vs agency? What are the biggest differences. For those that went client side, are you happier?

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I’m former Edelman and have been in-house at two companies now, which are wildly different due to their cultures. I’m incredibly grateful to the time I spent at E (for all that I learned and for the relationships I was able to build), but in-house is right for me at this stage in my life.

It’s hard to pinpoint the biggest differences as a blanket statement bc ultimately it’s going to depend on where you go and what your specific role is. But in both cases, it was similar to being 100% on a client. At my first in-house role, it wasn’t a good culture fit for me - I felt like I was constantly fighting an uphill battle to do good work. In my current role, I am operating in an environment very similar to my role at Edelman (which I loved).

I’m happy to answer additional questions here, or DM me if you want to get into anything deeper.

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Similar situation here. Edelman helped prepare me for in house and it’s clear that the former agency folks here are going to be successful long term because we always are pushing for greatness.

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I was at MSL for about five years and then went in-house. I think everyone should start at an agency... you learn a lot and learn fast. I got tired of the travel and the late nights so I jumped ship. Now I'm always home for dinner but sometimes the work can be more stressful because your work is deep in the trenches instead of broad and outward facing.

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Ive done both, I think the main difference is that in-house, you are in charge of all communications, the buck stops with you. At an agency, you are contributing to a company's communications efforts, you are not responsible for its entirety. At a PR agency, all your colleagues understand the industry and youre all on the same page. In-house, I found my biggest challenge was educating company executives from different divisions on what communications is AND what its not. I also think that being in-house gives you the opportunity to learn the business thoroughly.

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I made the switch from agency to in house and haven’t looked back. I don’t regret my time in the agency world at all. But at this point in my life—and in the current climate—I have more job security, can earn bonuses, and truly contribute to sales. No one cares about impression metrics in house if you move into a marketing team with more $$ to spend.

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I did client side and learned a lot but realised I’m an agency person through and through. I think it depends on the sitch: just like agencies, companies are not all the same: how many people in your team? How many clients in the company! How is it structured? Is PR and comms a respected function? Do you report to marketing, Corp Comms, HR? What are your budgets?

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