The average office occupancy rate has leveled off as hybrid work arrangements are widely being adopted across corporate America— highly flexible and evolving work patterns that allow workers to have a big say in how often, when or even whether they do any in-person office work. However, the vast majority of universities are returning to in-person learning and students expect connection with practitioners before they enter the workforce.
Advancing Your Agency and Future Professionals
Agency tours are a great way to expose students to local businesses to get a feel for what life is like post-grad. This immersive experience was put on pause during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but if agencies want to attract and retain top talent, they must reinstate agency tours and form meaningful relationships with recent grads. Whether you’re an agency looking for your next new hire or a student looking to plan your chapter’s next agency tour, below are best practices to consider for a memorable, successful agency tour.
Begin planning the agency visit at least eight weeks ahead of time. This will give you time to settle on a date and time that works for everyone. Work with students on creating an online sign-up sheet that has a short description of your agency and highlights your key values.
Be sure to dedicate certain members of your team to serve as hosts and the primary contacts for the agency tour. Also note the maximum number of students your space will hold and consider hosting students in groups if your agency’s office is particularly small.
Do Your Research
Dig into the background of the university visiting – what kind of public relations (PR) and marketing majors and programs do they have? Do they have a master’s and doctorate program?
Make sure you understand the school and the classes the students have taken so far to understand their level of PR and marketing knowledge so you can tailor activities accordingly.
Make it Interactive
To ensure an engaging session, be sure to collaborate and plan out the day. Prepare activities and specific questions to encourage student participation. Try planning a brainstorm for a client and having the students participate. Leave time for students to ask questions at the end and explain regular agency processes.
An agency tour is most successful when the wants and needs of members and planning align perfectly.
Make the Connection
Connect! Connect! Connect! Send LinkedIn connections at the end of the tour and reach out to students that you could see joining your team.
Maintaining these relationships are important aspects of networking, as well as sending thank you cards to those who helped us coordinate the tour.
Whether you are a small boutique agency or large big-name agency, the experience will be rewarding for both agency and students.
If you are an agency willing to offer tours to students, please reach out to Kaylee Sims with the College Relations Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the directory.