By Sheila Kulik
On Friday, October 23, Hirons & Company graciously took myself and two other members of IU’s PRSSA chapter on a tour of their agency headquarters in Indianapolis. So at 9:50 am, Kathryn Vance, Caitlin Blackford, and I arrived at their brick office dressed in our business casual, ready to learn the ins and outs of their bold approach to advertising and public relations.
The Hirons mission statement involves “outthinking, outworking, and outperforming” while “being bold” and that certainly rings true, starting with the interior design and architecture of their ultra modern office. They’ve designed their workspaces to be open and bright, with lots of comfortable chairs and trendy lamps to foster creativity and collaboration. The design of Hirons & Co. was inviting and warm.
After being received in the lobby by the company’s founder, president, and CEO, Tom Hirons, the first order of business for us was a presentation from Meghan Hamm, a Digital Media Strategist. Sitting in a conference room on the ground floor, she gave us a crash course in digital marketing research and how Hirons creates the best search engine strategies for the clients. Learning from Meghan, a recent Butler University triple major graduate, was extremely refreshing. As a young professional, she’s putting her education in business and PR to use in the increasingly-digital world of public relations and advertising. She told us that this is a field that’s teeming with opportunity for work and is especially fruitful for recent grads that have acquired these fairly new skills.
Up next was another presentation from our own Beth Wood PRSSA Chapter President, Maggie Stephens. Maggie works at Hirons & Co. as a New Business Assistant. She gave us some background on the work the firm has been doing and how they approach clients for new business. She offered us some personal experience in how Hirons has trained her for her position and explained that she spent several days being primed by the firm to ensure she was comfortable with their expectations, professionalism, and strategies before officially beginning her job.
We wrapped up the morning with a lunch, courtesy of Tom Hirons. We enjoyed some informal advice and words of PR wisdom from both Tom and Hirons & Co. Account Coordinator, Kendall Bybee. We learned that Tom founded his firm after studying Political Science in school and coming to love promotion while Kendall came to Hirons recently after graduating from IU with a degree in journalism and a love of nonprofit PR. They also revealed what they are looking for when hiring recent college graduates: extracurriculars and excellent conversational skills, and what they consider job candidate deal-breakers: typos and informal language and spelling (particularly in emails.)
Overall, we had an excellent and invaluable day with Hirons & Co. We were extremely lucky to be met with professionals that were so eager to offer personal advice and share insider information on the field we are preparing to enter. Everyone was friendly and excited to learn about our studies and PRSSA as well. Anyone who is attracted to a modern workplace with creative and welcoming professionals (and appreciates comfortable conference room chairs) should look into Hirons & Company and the amazing work they do. A huge thank you to Tom and the rest of his team for an unforgettable day!