When polling a room of fifth graders about their career goals, you might hear answers like “doctor,” “fireman” or “teacher.” One job that is (not so surprisingly) missing from the list of frequently listed childhood career aspirations is financial services public relations associate.

Although this career might not be top of mind for many young people, including recent grads, we’d argue that the financial services industry is a great way to jumpstart a successful career.  

Just the essentials 

The most critical skill for anyone looking to go into financial public relations is strong writing and communications skills. One mantra at the Lowe Group is that it’s easier to teach a good communicator about finance than it is to teach someone with a financial background how to write and communicate effectively. While it may give you a leg up, a degree in public relations, marketing or business isn’t a prerequisite. Among us, only Ella joined the team with a bachelor’s in public relations—but she credits the last year at Lowe Group with teaching her most of what she knows about PR. Our liberal arts educations—Elizabeth holds a degree in environmental studies and Talia got her bachelor’s in German and English literature (see post)—enabled us to jump into PR work and learn the financial and communications industries.  

Decisions, decisions, decisions 

When starting a career in communications, there are two routes you can follow—pursuing an in-house role or joining an agency. The three of us chose the agency route. As newcomers to the PR world, here’s why we think we made the right decision: 

  • Working in a boutique agency allows us to gain the specialized industry knowledge of an in-house PR employee, while also giving us the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and network with a wider range of clients and reporters. We work with clients from all areas of the financial industry ranging from sustainable investors to asset managers to RIAs to fintechs—and more! 
  • We’ve gained direct experience in all aspects of communications. As an agency, Lowe Group meets a variety of client needs. This means we have skills in traditional PR, digital marketing, social media, content development and more.  
  • We each work with multiple clients at once. This requires strong project and time management skills that we will utilize for the rest of our careers. 
  • We are never bored! Agency life is fast-paced and keeps us on our toes. We have limited routine work because client needs are constantly evolving. 

This is the fifth and final in a series of posts we’ve written to welcome the Class of 2023 graduates fortunate enough to secure a job working in public relations, digital marketing or content marketing for an asset manager, RIA or fintech firm. For this post, we’ve flipped the focus and asked our recent college graduates to weigh in with their own observations and recommendations. 

Don’t miss the first four posts in the series: The best strategy for your new PR career? Say yes!; Lucky you: Digital marketers get the keys to the kingdom; New financial-services content creators: Let your curiosity guide your learning in these three areas; and Pitching pointers for fledgling flacks.

Can we be of further help in training your PR/media relations, digital marketing and content creation teams? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to share the details of the workshops we deliver, including the ability to customize the agenda.

Adapt to survive 

We are only a few years into our careers, but we’ve already witnessed dramatic changes shaking up the communications world. The first occurred when the pandemic began. The PR industry, like all industries, had to take a step back and adjust how it operated. As our office went from in-person to remote, we had to learn how to effectively communicate with our colleagues and our clients. Gone were the days of walking over to the next cubicle to ask a question or discuss a media strategy. Maintaining a sense of camaraderie in a suddenly virtual office took time. But once we figured out an effective workflow, remote work became commonplace. Now roughly half of our staff works remotely or has a hybrid schedule.   

The sudden emergence of AI is also changing our work. We’re in the early stages of learning how we can effectively and ethically incorporate AI into our everyday tasks. Whether it’s through image generation, research or automation of routine tasks, AI has the potential to change how we approach some aspects of our jobs. It’s an exciting innovation, and as young career women, we are excited to evolve with the industry.

As our president Jody Lowe says, “AI isn’t going to take your job, it’s people who know how to use it that will.” If we learn how to use it strategically, it can be another weapon in our PR arsenal. We’ve already had the chance to be part of conversations with senior staff and clients about when and how to bring AI into the fold. Do you like the pictures we used to share this blog on social? Those were created using a combination of AI and design work from our partner, Bob Quast. When you’re struggling to find the perfect stock photo, using an AI-generated photo can help create a photo that meets your exact specifications.  

For all of us over the first few years of our career, being flexible, adapting to whatever the world threw  our way and being willing to learn were key.  

Although the three of us might not have been dreaming of financial services PR in grade school, we are happy this is where we landed and recommend it for recent graduates. This industry has given us the room to grow and expand our skills as young, up-and-coming professionals. Agency work has allowed us at a young age to be hands-on, share our opinions and feel like an asset to the team.  

This completes our five-part series acknowledging the Class of 2023 infusion into the public relations, digital marketing, and content marketing domains of the investment industry.

Talia Dunyak

Degree: BA German & English literature; MA international relations (’16, ’20G)

Tip for recent grad: Stay open to unexpected opportunities! Finding a position at a company with a culture that matches your lifestyle might take you down a career path you never considered.  

Elizabeth Terry  

Degree: BA environmental studies (’19)

Tip for recent grad: Don’t be afraid to speak up! Even if you’re early in your career, your opinions and ideas are valuable, and you can bring a new perspective that senior staffers may not have considered.

Ella Lawrence 

Degree: BA public relations/image management & writing intensive English (’22)

Tip for recent grad: Challenge yourself and surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. You are smarter than you realize!