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  • Employee Highlight: Clare Leonard

Employee Highlight: Clare Leonard

BY Clare Leonard IN Agency Life

Clare is an account coordinator and has been at Hirons for about two months. She enjoys her time in the Morton Think Tank, where she can sit on the comfy couch and brainstorm ideas. If she had to describe Hirons as a food, she would choose a Snickers bar because while Hirons appears on the outside as a cohesive company, it has many layers and works with a diverse client base. Clare loves to spend time exploring all neighborhoods of downtown Indy. When looking for a bite to eat, she likes to head over to one of her favorite restaurants, Livery.

How did you become interested in advertising/PR? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?
The reason I became interested in PR was because of Ball State University’s student-run firm, Cardinal Communications. Through Cardinal Communications, I worked with a diverse client base and learned various public relations tactics. This ultimately led to an expanded network and a lot of different opportunities throughout college. One opportunity in particular allowed me to work with Hirons and their client, The ARA Project. After graduation, I was lucky enough to land my first full-time job with Hirons. The job opening was presented to me as a result of my pre-existing network with current employees and Tom Hirons.

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?
As a PR professional, you must be knowledgeable and adaptable. The industry is constantly evolving, and being aware of current events and trends is crucial.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?
You must be a clear communicator. Deadlines, project scopes and meetings are constantly being rearranged to best accommodate the client. In an industry that is constantly changing, we must continue to be clear communicators.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?
Many of my friends refer to me as the “ultimate planner.” You will rarely find me without a to-do list or a detailed calendar.

When and where do you have your best ideas?
I get my best ideas while traveling to and from work. I enjoy thinking “out of the box” before the workday starts. I challenge myself to bring something new and innovative to the table every day.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?
My most exciting project at Hirons thus far is the logo redesign project for Festival Country in Johnson County, Indiana. I have a passion for the tourism industry and working with this client has been a treat. I started working at Hirons right when this project rolled out, so I had the chance to brainstorm new branding ideas with the rest of the team. I collaborated with the creative department and made sure they were creating what the client ultimately wanted. It was great to see this project from start to finish.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?
In order for a business to continue to be successful, it must have positive brand awareness. Positive brand awareness stems from successful advertising and public relations. As an account coordinator, my main goal is to provide clients with effective public relations tools to help expand their company brand awareness.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?
If you are looking to join the PR or advertising industry, you must utilize your network. I encourage you to sit down and think about your connections in the industry. Challenge yourself to attend networking events around the city. These little tips can lead you to your first job or internship.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?
The most meaningful part of my job is providing positive change for all clients. From creating social media content to planning a press conference, every project provides an opportunity to better brand a client.

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