This post is part of our Employer of the Week series, where we will be highlighting a different company in PR/Communications every Monday.
Overview: If you are the “go big or go home” type, Burson-Marsteller is the PR firm for you. With regional offices around the world, B-M has a global reach extending throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. If you go after a job with these guys you will be happy you kept up your high school Spanish.
Harold Burson founded Harold Burson Public Relations in New York in 1946 and William Marsteller started an ad agency in Chicago called Marsteller Gebhardt and Reed (eventually called Marsteller, Inc.) in 1951. The two came together to establish the powerhouse firm, Burson-Marsteller, in 1953. The pair was the first to use integrated communications marketing in a PR context and the firm has grown to be one of the largest in the world.
Burson and Marsteller led the industry when they first started out and have kept that priority of innovation alive in the company today, which we can see preserved in their mission statement:
“…For ourselves – our people and our company – our mission is to build an ever-greater communications counseling firm. By leading the industry in thought and innovation, we will create value for our shareholders and exciting new growth opportunities for our people and our company.”
Jobs and Corporate Culture:
With their wide array of services, at B-M there is a job for everyone. Their services include the following consulting and communications disciplines:
- Public affairs
- Corporate and financial communication
- Brand marketing
- Issues & crisis group
- Grassroots outreach
- Industry specialties
- Government and political services
- Global energy
B-M also offers an award-winning training program for their employees called “Burson-Marsteller University, or B-MU. The program gives employees “the tools and experiences they need to evolve with the industry and continue to deliver the level of performance our clients expect.”
To search for open positions at B-M, click here.
If you are not quite at the job-hunting point yet, B-M offers a summer internship program that is arguably on of the best out there. It is very selective with a rigorous application process, but it is definitely worth the effort. The program is a “paid internship at one of the U.S. Burson-Marsteller offices. Each intern is assigned to a client team or practice group. During the internship, students work closely with experienced industry professionals. HBSI interns are given the opportunity to work as a team member, while gaining valuable work experience. Colleagues from different specialty areas of Burson-Marsteller conduct seminars for interns each week. Interns are also grouped into teams where they work on a special HBSI project, which they present to a senior management panel for review at the conclusion of the internship. The summer internship offers an invaluable career-development experience that can often lead to an employment opportunity with us after graduation.”
Blogger and alum of the B-M Summer Internship program, Max Kalehoff wrote a post titled “Marson-Bursteller was my MBA.” According to Kalehoff, who got his first job from the program at B-M and is now a marketing executive at Clickable (an advertising tech and services company) “For a very young professional, the HBSI was a nurturing, confidence-building experience that helped shape opportunistic business leaders, well beyond the communications field.”
They offer internship opportunities in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Los Angeles.
For more information, check out their website.
Harold Burson has long been a supporter of public relations education and research and has a good relationship with Boston University. A professorship was created by the endowment he gave to COM and he continues today to fund the “Harold Burson [faculty] chair in public relations.” BU even organized a symposium to honor Burson and celebrate his 90th birthday.
Burson-Marsteller is an enormous firm, however don’t be intimidated by its size. There is a niche for all sorts of interests, cultures and communications disciplines and the the B-M summer internship is the perfect prestigious addition to any resume. You will not be spending the summer fetching coffee but will gain quality hands-on work experience. Besides, we know that Burson has a fond place in his heart for Boston University, with COM on your application you are sure to have a leg up on the competition. Good luck!