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Employee Highlight: Laura Crafton


05.22.19
BY Laura Crafton IN Agency Life

How did you become interested in advertising/PR/media/public affairs/marketing? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?
A college counselor sat down with me and we discussed my interests. She suggested I get into communications – I haven’t looked back since!

I actually took a post-grad internship in NYC in 2011. I worked for a public relations agency focusing on state and country tourism. It was an incredible experience! After I ran out of money, I found my way back in Indy and applied for communications positions.

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?
Being able to easily talk with people. I always tell people I could talk to brick wall if I was asked to. It’s important for any account lead to be able to easily sit down at lunch with a client. If you can’t do this, it’s going to feel like a big uphill battle.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?
Again, good communication skills are key. I find I’m asking my clients what is happening in their lives at the beginning, sometimes in the middle and definitely at the end of most meetings. Everyone has lives outside of work and, as an agency partner, we should recognize that and learn more about everyone we meet.

It’s also important to understand how you can help clients think strategically about their business plans and their marketing plans. These two things should align. If they don’t, we should be asking them why.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?
I play sand volleyball every summer. It’s a huge passion of mine. I also read a lot and am in a book club, which meets every month. I started it with a group of friends from my last job – now over six years in the making!

When and where do you have your best ideas?
In meetings, during good discussions with teammates and clients. It’s always so helpful to get others’ perspectives, which usually lead to new ideas.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?
One of the most exciting campaigns I’ve worked on is one of my first at Hirons. I started working on a new brand campaign for First Merchants Bank. The team was interested in building a campaign focused on the entire company and its offerings. Our team built a number of creative options, the client picked one, and we’ve been executing advertising based on this for almost two years now! What’s more exciting is the growth of the bank has been exponential since 2017.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?
Organizations are in constant competition. Even if there isn’t a direct competitor currently in their space, there will be at some point, and a strong brand is important. A combination of advertising and PR efforts is crucial to grab the attention of your target audiences and hold onto your customers once you have them.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?
Get ready to work. It’s not a joke that agency life is a hustle. We work hard and rarely slow down. If you’re ready to tackle some exciting work and have your days fly by, this is the place for you!

What is the most meaningful part of your job?
Working with my team is the most meaningful part of my job. I come to work for the people. They are what motivates me most.

 

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