A Guide: Professional Development and Career Tracks for PR Agencies

Julie Curtin, Partner of Development Counsellors International, an economic development marketing firm based in New York City, with offices in Denver, Los Angeles, and Toronto contributed today's article on career development tracks at agencies and how to implement them. 

At DCI, we believe in the continual professional growth and development of our staff. To that end, we have outlined guidelines of the basic skill sets expected of each position and I'm happy to share with you, my CAPRSA colleagues, to use as a template - or simply inspiration - for your own agencies.

As staff members acquire greater experience, knowledge, contacts and overall success, we desire that they contribute their expertise to a positive and productive agency culture. 

We believe in a 110 percent rule, meaning once staff members have successfully mastered the skills of their position, they must show they can handle the next position by performing the duties outlined for a minimum of three months (with the exception of the transition from Account Coordinator to Assistant Account Executive, which is at the discretion of his/her manager).

In an effort to be more competitive in the marketplace and to better suit the diverse needs of our clients, this career path doc builds on the list of qualifications at each level, while allowing staff at the mid- to senior-level to specialize in his/her own area of expertise. 

We emphasize that these are guidelines for each position. We also recognize some staff members may contribute their talents to our agency and other projects not outlined in the responsibilities. These things are always taken into consideration and promotion is at the discretion of his/her manager, evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

You can download the template below and of course it goes without saying that these guidelines are specific to our agency, but I hope the ideas offer direction to those of you drafting your own. I'd love to hear how it goes. I'm passionate about this topic! - Julie

PS. If you are receiving this via email, find the download link below the original post.