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  • Employee Highlight: Robert Hickson

Employee Highlight: Robert Hickson

IN Agency Life

How did you become interested in advertising/PR? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?
As a marketing major at Butler University, I found advertising to be interesting. Advertising allows you to reach out and connect with people while creating a buzz about a product or service they might not know exists. Landing my first job involved a lot of networking. I knew a couple Hirons employees when I applied to Hirons, but I still sat down with a dozen or more prospective employers before I interviewed for my current position as digital media coordinator.

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

The Google AdWords certification and Facebook Business Manager platform are two tools I would consider important because they help measure the success of a campaign. Since you don’t learn about these particular tools in school, they become on-the-job learning opportunities. It has taken time and experience to get to the point where I now feel confident as a campaign manager.

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

In order to be successful in the industry, you have to be able to prioritize your work. Our work moves quickly, and turnaround time is short compared to other industries. You are doing something new every day, and you might not necessarily know what it is or what to expect. The job is multi-faceted, so you have to be able to adapt to wearing different hats. A solid work ethic and the ability to follow through are also important.

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

I enjoy snowboarding and hiking, along with going to coffee shops. Open Society (located on College Avenue) is my favorite because it’s not your standard coffee shop. They aren’t afraid to experiment with drinks, and they have a cool atmosphere.

When and where do you have your best ideas?
While mornings are most productive for me, late at night is when I am most open to new, creative ideas. My mornings tend to fly by because I am focused on what’s in front of me, but late night is when I have time to explore innovative ideas.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?
I would consider my most exciting project to be the government-related campaign I worked on because I was here for the duration of it, from beginning to end. My favorite, however, would be The Villages’ “Power of One” campaign, which was an initiative to recruit foster parents. We helped the client convey its message well and in a simple manner. Plus, it felt good doing something geared toward helping kids in need.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?
Advertising and public relations are important because they, ultimately, are how you acquire new clients, drive new business and get your name out there. The growth of an organization is extremely measurable, especially where digital is concerned. Growth is also a way to show experience, which is something I try to present to clients.

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

Be adaptable: Things are constantly changing – especially regarding clients’ initiatives or their overall objectives – and you have to be able to adjust with those changes. Don’t be afraid to learn: You won’t know about everything in your field going into it, especially in the digital world. Just try to absorb as much information as you can and actively seek out learning opportunities.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

The most meaningful part of my job is the end result. The final product speaks volumes about the quality and purpose of what we do as an agency to current and prospective clients, whether our work consists of finding foster parents for kids or enabling someone to have access to health care.

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