Q&A With Tierney’s Francesca Gunning

With eight years of PR agency experience, Francesca Gunning, a Senior Account Executive from Tierney shares her agency experience with PRowl PR. Francesca’s career began at LevLane as an intern in 2009. After gaining valuable agency experience, she moved her talents to Tierney in 2012. 
Check out our Francesca’s insights in our Q&A below:
Describe yourself in three words.
Perpetual plate spinner
Tell us about your hobbies outside of PR?
I am a Spotify and Instagram addict, always exploring and capturing new music and interesting moments from the City of Brotherly Love. I love to run, watch HGTV with my four-legged best friend – a 19lb Boston terrier named Cookie – and enjoy all that Philadelphia’s culinary scene has to offer.
Describe what you like most about working in an agency.
I love the variety and the opportunity to gain experience in multiple different industries. I can bounce between industries ranging from automotive to food and healthcare to nonprofit on a daily basis. Being at an agency certainly keeps me on my toes and forces me to be nimble.
 
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Usually I come in and determine the biggest priorities for each of my clients and then get to work. My daily activities can range from conducting media relations, to planning events, to handling crises or managing issues, to meeting with clients or my internal teams.
 
What does being a Senior Account Executive entail?
As a Senior Account Executive, I serve as a day-to-day contact for clients. I work with my supervisors to manage projects and team members, with a deep understanding of my clients’ business and communications objectives. I offer proactive recommendations to our clients, leveraging industry trends and the changing media landscape. I also research, develop and present communications plans.
 
What type of work does an entry-level PR position typically do?
Our entry level PR position is called an Account Coordinator. They’re the backbone of our teams. Our “ACs” help us do a variety of things like daily media monitoring, conducting research, planning meetings, building media lists, creating press documents and much more.
 
Based on your experiences, what would you say makes a successful client-agency relationship?
I would say trust and open communication. The best clients that I have worked with have been really trusting in our team’s ability to be successful and have been engaged and responsive every step of the way.  I’m lucky that I’ve had, and still get to work with, wonderful clients each and every day.
 
Do you have any advice for professionals entering this industry?
If you’re trying to work at an agency, I recommend that you try and get an internship at one in the market where you’d like to work. When you’re there, be a sponge – soak up as much knowledge as possible and become a critical extension of the team that you’re supporting. If you’re already in an entry-level position, work hard and don’t be afraid to try new things and learn from new people. Seek a mentor who can show you the ropes and give you advice when you need help. Your early years can be formidable and will shape you who become as a professional – cherish and own this time.   
 
Name three skills you believe all PR professionals should master.
  1.  AP Writing
  2. Flexibility
  3. Time Management
 
What is your proudest PR accomplishment?
Landing my first national news story on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams was amazing. It was about a nonprofit that was working to revitalize an 87-acre park in North Philadelphia. It took two years to make and when it aired, it was the best feeling in the world. It garnered so much great exposure for my client and the project took off from there. It really showed me the positive impact we can make in this industry. 
 
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Colleen Chase.

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