Senior Account Executive | PR

PR practitioners work with clients including corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and hospitals to manage their image among their key publics. They learn as much as possible about their clients in order to help them achieve their business and communication objectives. This is often done through the development of proactive strategies, such as media and strategic communication campaigns. Working with the media, PR practitioners work to garner positive news coverage about their client by sending out news releases highlighting news about their clients, setting up interviews with journalists, scheduling news conferences, etc. Strategic Communication Campaigns can include planning special events, community outreach programs, corporate advertising and sponsorships in order to foster positive relationships between the client's company/organization and key publics. PR practitioners serve as counselors to their clients especially during crises when they will provide guidance on how to answer journalists' questions. It is a fast paced, exciting career.

Basic Skills and Competencies

  • Strong interest in networking
  • Ability to interact with clients and the "face" of an organization
  • Ability to juggle multiple clients or tasks at once
  • Knowledge of industry trends

Bryan Brignac is Director of Marketing and Communications for CHS. At the time of this interview, he was a counselor at Exponent Public Relations, a firm in Minneapolis. In this role, he managed client relations for agriculture clients. A 2006 graduate on SJMC, Brignac was involved in PRSSA and held an internships at Target and the Ronald McDonald House. Upon graduation, he became an account manager at Tunheim Partners where he managed such clients as Mystic Lake Casino. In 2010, he moved into his current role at Exponent PR and manages such clients as DuPont Crop Protection and CHS.

Video Index

  • Play entire video
  • Introduction
  • What role does technology play in your job?
  • What do you wish you had done or known before you got this job?
  • How does a new person in this field get started/launch a career?
  • What do you look for in a new hire?
  • What do you find most challenging about your job?
  • What is most exciting about your job?


Courses to Help Prepare You (Within SJMC)

  • JOUR 3102: Multimedia Production and Storytelling
  • JOUR 3251: Evaluative Research in Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3275: Digital Strategy in Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3279W: Professional Writing for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3321: Media Design
  • JOUR 3775: Administrative Law and Regulation for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 4259: Strategic Communication Case Analysis
  • JOUR 4262: Management for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 5501: Communication, Public Opinion and Social Media

Courses to Help Prepare You (Outside SJMC)

  • MKTG 3001: Principles of Marketing
  • MGMT 3001: Fundamentals of Management
  • ABUS 4022W: Management in Organizations
  • COMM 3411: Small Group Communication
  • OLPD 3318: Introduction to Project Management
  • Consider minor in marketing or business

Student Groups


Participate In

  • Minnesota Daily


  • Look for internship opportunities in PR and Advertising agencies, nonprofit organizations, corporations and government.
  • Watch for internship and student employment opportunities in communications at the University of Minnesota.
  • Volunteer to help out nonprofits, small businesses or churches with public relations, event planning or communications

Your Career

Career Resources

Professional Organizations

Potential Job Titles

  • Counselor
  • Client Relations

Where Alumni Work

  • Weber Shandwick
  • University of Minnesota
  • Colle + McVoy
  • Fleishman-Hillard

Return to Career Exploration page.