Why The Swing Agency?
If you have come back after our last blog post, welcome back! If not, this is Behind the Swing, a blog brought to you by the students of The Swing Agency. My name is Jenna and I am an account executive here at The Swing Agency. You may have read from Tyler’s post a little about who we are and what we do, but I want to go into more detail about what The Swing Agency has to offer to its students and the amazing clients we are lucky enough to have the
opportunity to work with.
The Swing Agency, also known as PR 120, is a student-led PR agency here at Hofstra. The class is open to all PR majors and minors and it gives students the opportunity to gain real life experience in the PR industry. It’s an amazing opportunity that allows you to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be a practicing PR professional and it prepares you so that once you graduate and are off into the real world; you are ready for the challenges and demands that may be asked of you.
Public relations is not just cultivating and developing a public image for clients. It’s also not just media relations and strategic communication. Those are things you can learn about in a classroom. Public relations is a collaborative effort… and that is something you can’t teach. Collaboration is a huge part of PR. When you work at a firm or agency you work as a team. Public relations is the sharing and developing of ideas. When you work as a team you have people to bounce ideas off one another and that is how you get to your final plan of action. But things can always change and you have to be ready for your strategies to change too and that’s the beauty of working in the field, it’s an exciting and communal experience that always keeps you on your toes and you get to share that excitement with the rest of your team. In The Swing Agency we are able to get a taste of what that feeling and experience is like. We work with each other to come up with the best strategies for our clients and luckily we have Professor Semple to help guide the way. If you are a PR major or minor and have come this far, you have completed all your required course work, now, in PR 120, you get to test your skills. This is the moment that all your professors have prepared you for.
Besides collaboration, as mentioned before, The Swing Agency offers you the opportunity to work with actual clients. This semester, we are working with two amazing clients. First is Ascend Long Island. Ascend Long Island, also known as Ascend LI, is a program that helps up-and-coming entrepreneurs and businesses. Administered by Hofstra’s Center of Entrepreneurship and sponsored by JP Morgan Chase as well as National Grid, Ascend LI, teaches, trains and mentors its members about the inner-workings of business and industry and allows them the opportunity to eventually earn contracts with larger companies. What is great about Ascend LI is its diversity in terms of the businesses they choose to work with. They recruit small businesses and entrepreneurs and they give them an opportunity that can help change their lives. Our second client is Voices4Everyone. Voices4Everyone is a PRSA affiliated strategic initiative that spreads awareness about disinformation in the media. This is such an important issue that currently exists due to widespread and largely unregulated access to media platforms. Voices4Everyone uses their “ACT'' model (amplify, connect, take action) to fight disinformation. These two clients are really important in not only bettering our community but also the work that they both do is tremendous and impactful.
Because we are working with real clients, The Swing Agency provides leadership opportunities to its students. Yes, it is overseen by Professor Semple but she gives us the freedom to really explore our creativity and to run a PR agency. Although this semester there are only six of us, we each have our own positions in the agency and we each get to practice our leadership skills. We have Bella, our director, she serves as our primary leader for the agency. She runs our weekly staff meetings and creates agendas for us to follow each week. Next, we have our account executives, Tyler and Gillian, Tyler is the account executive for Ascend Long Island while Gillian is the account executive for Voices4Everyone. They both serve as the primary contact for our clients and take initiative in the delivery of our client campaigns. Finally, we have the account executives and that is Taylor, Bella C, and myself. We get to compile research for our client campaigns, come up with media tactics as well as create content for our client’s social media pages. Although we each have our own positions we work together to make sure our agency runs smoothly and that our clients are happy with the work that we do.
The Swing Agency is not like anything you’ve probably seen or heard of. It’s a unique experience that will help you understand the nuances of the public relations industry. If you are a PR student and you have come across this blog post and have read this far and you are interested in The Swing Agency, my word of advice is to sign up. It may be scary and it may push you out of your comfort zone but you will never have an opportunity like this. Working at The Swing Agency will allow you to practice your skills before you are off into the real world, with a boss breathing down your neck, where the slightest mistakes matter and you put so much pressure on yourself to deliver the best campaign for your clients… now that’s scary. Practice now, learn now, right here, at The Swing Agency- this is the time for you to learn and grow and better yourself so that you are ready for what’s to come.
So that’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed learning about us and the important work we are doing here and again, we will catch you guys on the upswing!