BY Alie Pflum IN Agency Life

How did you become interested in design/advertising/PR/media/public affairs/marketing? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?

After completing two internships during college, one at a local marketing/advertising agency and the other at a global manufacturing company, I felt ready to start pursuing a career in PR which led to my decision to move to Los Angeles, California in August 2016.

During my first months in Los Angeles I was relentlessly applying to every agency and mass media corporation I could find and after nearly three months of job searching, I was hired as a production assistant at Entertainment Tonight (ET). After hitting my two-year mark at ET, I started applying to multi-service agencies in the Midwest with the hopes of starting a new career in my home state. After a 30-minute phone interview with Deana (which we still laugh about to this day), I was in Indianapolis starting a new journey here at Hirons.

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?

Having the ability to make whomever you’re speaking with feel important, heard and understood is a major key in your personal and professional lives. One of my favorite sayings about our industry is “people will forget what you say but they never forget how you make them feel.” When you’re able to have a meaningful, engaging conversation with a client where you both leave feeling validated, that kind of success cannot be measured, only remembered.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?

I’ve always relied on my adaptability and time-management skills to be an efficient employee, but one key to success I didn’t fully appreciate until I entered the industry is teamwork. My time at Hirons has allowed me to see that co-workers are great resources for questions or advice since they’re best acquainted with your work, are aware of your skill level and have been in your “new hire shoes” before. You can learn a lot from your peers, and if you’re lucky some team members turn into friends.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?

Besides the generic “love of reading, spending time with family and friends,” I’m proud to say I’m a daughter of a fourth-generation farmer. I grew up on a farm with cattle, pigs, and sheep. To this day I still help my niece and nephew show pigs at 4-H livestock shows, so to say I enjoy the outdoors and animals would be an understatement.

When and where do you have your best ideas?

Some of my ideas pop up during “normal” times like in meetings or conversations with clients and co-workers, but I seem to get a lot of creativity flowing while reading, being outdoors and driving – voice to text function has saved my life countless times!

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?

As a newcomer to the communications management team I have yet to start working with clients, but I did play a hand in planning the 2019 Indianapolis ADDY Awards, which Hirons hosted. This event was especially rewarding to be a part of since it was the most profitable event the AAF has hosted in the last five years.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?

In a society where we’re constantly bombarded by media, it’s getting even more difficult for organizations to standout, thus the need for effective advertising. When we’re able to help clients find and establish a target audience and then use strategic messaging and placement, the right advertisement can cut through the clutter and create exposure for our clients.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?

Be prepared to hit the ground running! Multi-tasking and time management skills are vital to success in an agency setting. When you’re capable of processing and sorting an influx of information, you’ll be able to keep your team and yourself organized and productive.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

Working with our talented and charismatic team members has been such a rewarding experience. The relationships established during my time here have made me a better team member, employee and friend.


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