Creating Advertising Concepts as a PR Student

Written by: Madalyn Freeman, Account Executive

The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between two organizations and their publics.” You don’t see anything about advertising in this definition, right? Yeah me neither…but as an Account Executive at Central Communication Agency you take whatever comes your way and conquer it no matter what. You do this because applicable experience is the best experience.

Agency students gain first-hand experiences anywhere from planning events for clients, to writing press releases, media alerts, or blog posts etc. As a student in Agency, you are presented countless opportunities that push you out of your comfort zone. This is exactly what happened to me last quarter.

The Tourism Bureau of Kittitas County asked my CCA team to create advertising concepts to entice travelers from Portland, Tri-Cities, and Spokane areas to visit Kittitas County. At first I was terrified when I received this assignment because I had no idea where to start and I didn’t know what an ad-concept was! I have provided you with a handy dandy step-by-step list on where to start.

  1. Find out who your target market is
  2. Do research and create a list on what is popular in your area
  3. Do a comparative analysis for each city
  4. Visit tourist attraction websites to brainstorm a list of keywords to use in taglines
  5. Find pictures for content inspiration
  6. Hold a brainstorming meeting (with a white board present) and create comparative concepts

One piece of advice: Make sure you and your client know what the final deliverable product will look like, and you present visuals! This will help eliminate a lot of future confusion!

What my point here is, just because you are a public relations student doesn’t mean that you are limited to writing and planning events. There are several applicable opportunities within the CCA to try something different and impress your client. All of which are learning experiences that put in your back pocket and make you a well-rounded PR student and a marketable candidate in your future career. Remember, applicable experience is the best experience.


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