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Summary List Placement

Firms like Finsbury, Kekst CNC, and Gladstone Place Partners, occupy a profitable niche of the agency world: Strategic communications, which involves crisis, litigation, financial, and other high-stakes public relations.

This part of the industry is made up of firms like WPP’s Finsbury, Publicis’ Kekst CNC, and Gladstone Place Partners, who handle some of the largest deals in the world and other high-stakes situations.

Gladstone Place Partners handled the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Fox assets. Kekst CNC managed WeWork after its IPO flamed out. Finsbury helped Grubhub as restaurants laid off staff during the pandemic.

Some of these firms also offer high pay.

Read more: How to get a job at PR giant Edelman and what to expect if you land an interview, according to the company’s recruiters

For example, Sard Verbinnen & Co., which declined to comment for this story, pays its associates $95,000 to $115,000 in total compensation, including a base salary and bi-annual bonuses, according to a source familiar with the firm. Senior associates net $130,000 to $160,000 per year.

At Teneo, a VP can net as much as $205,000 in base salary, according to visa information analyzed by Business Insider. At FTI, a senior consultant makes $100,000, while a managing director can make $420,000.

Business Insider spoke to former and current employees at these agencies, including recruiting heads at Kekst CNC, Finsbury, and Gladstone, who talked about their interview processes and shared tips for job candidates.

Finsbury got more than 600 applicants per month before the pandemic hit

Jobs at these firms are competitive. Finsbury, for example, is used to getting than 600 applications in a month, said Karla Wagner, head of talent and human resources for North America at Finsbury. More than 1,500 people applied for summer internships.

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Strategic communications firms also have a more rigorous screening process than the rest of the PR industry because their work has longer, more stressful hours, insiders say. So standing out requires some creativity.

At Finsbury and Kekst CNC, committees of account and human resources staff vet applications on a full-time basis, and consider a candidate’s interest in business and media and working on high-stakes accounts more than their knowledge of things like finance, litigation, or business, insiders said.

Read more: The coronavirus crisis is upending public-relations strategies. Top firms like Ketchum and Finsbury reveal how they’re changing their pitches to keep up.

A former Finsbury partner, who worked at the agency for decades, cautioned candidates not to emphasize their need for flexibility.

“If it’s important for you to have your nights and weekends free, these are not the right firms for you.”

Diversity has become increasingly important in hiring. Gladstone CEO and Chairman Steve Lipin said he doesn’t want to hire new employees because of familial relations or because they had an internship.

“We don’t just hire people like ourselves because that’s self-perpetuating,” Lipin said.

Hirers want to know how candidates dealt with adversity and what they learned from it

In the interview process, candidates should expect questions about how they have dealt with challenging situations …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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