News & Insights

2024 Associate Program FAQ


Associate Program FAQ

We took the most frequently asked questions from Associate candidates, and sent them to our employees who have been in the Program in previous years. These are their answers in their own words.

What does a typical day look like for an Associate?

Working as an associate is like working at a dynamic start-up — no day looks the same, but you’ll get a world of experience wearing different hats. From building relationships with key media contacts on your own, to thinking through social media strategy and being an integral part of the team on calls and in meetings, you’ll have your hands full. Day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Drafting pitches and social media content
  • Sourcing and communicating with influencers
  • Building social content calendars
  • Staffing and organizing experiential marketing events
  • Media list building and outreach, securing media interview/stories
  • Content development, including blog posts, press releases op eds, newsletters, and recaps
  • Keeping up with industry trends and news
  • Producing research and insights
  • Media monitoring
  • General account team management (trackers, timelines, etc.)
  • Note taking during internal and client meetings
  • Brainstorming
  • Prioritizing tasks and communicating with teams and managers on evolving client needs
  • Handling email correspondence with internal teams as well as with clients, media contacts, influencers, and other professional connections

While this is the work on a typical day, every day will bring new developments.

What is your favorite thing about working at RF|Binder?

  • Within the Associate Program, you have other Associates to bounce ideas off, problem-solve with, and relate to. Many Associates become life-long friends thanks to the program.
  • The opportunity to work with industry-leading, highly regarded clients from day one!
  • I enjoy being part of a team that applauds the ideas and work of someone in the younger generation, where inclusion is felt at the core and my voice and craft matters. The opportunity to be vocal and comfortable working with big and reputable clients is everything to me.
  • My favorite thing about the Associate Program is the combination of hands-on, and workshop style learning. The program really helps Associates transition into an agency environment.
  • The people! I am surrounded by incredibly smart and caring individuals, and am proud to call them my teammates. Whether it is learning a new PR skill or receiving great career advice, I have had so many amazing teaching moments from my colleagues.

How would you describe the culture at RF|Binder?

RF|Binder has a positive, collaborative and entrepreneurial culture where people are excited to come to work every day, collaborate with their colleagues, be passionate about what they are doing, focus on driving impact to their clients, and are curious and eager to learn in order to grow on a personal and professional level. Here’s how some of us describe our culture:

  • Caring, hardworking, supportive, and fun!
  • Collaborative and curious. The people that I work with are always there to support me, and lend a hand when needed. My colleagues are very curious and have a love of learning and thinking outside the box.
  • RF|Binder has an authentic, promising, and growing RF|Binder remains grounded in their purpose and I find the team constantly investing in themselves, equally in their clients, and the opportunities that are offered to make an impact.
  • I would describe the culture as collaborative and engaging. Everyone is very open-minded and we rely on each other. It’s great that we can joke around and have fun.
  • Supportive. Everyone here is rooting for your success and willing to jump in anywhere to help you achieve it!

How does RF|Binder keep employees connected and engaged?

RF|Binder believes finding fun ways to connect is essential to building a tight-knit, engaged team. We make sure to leave time outside of our client work for fun activities to get the creativity flowing.

  • RFB is great at keeping employees connected through virtual and in-person events, including coffee with mentors, wine tastings, cooking classes and game nights.
  • We have bi-weekly firm-wide updates, where a fun question is asked, and everyone gets to provide their answers. It’s a great, lighthearted way to learn more about our coworkers.
  • We stay engaged through the fun firm-wide meetings where we share everything from good news, to challenging topics, to new initiatives, plus announcing recognitions, and key client successes.
  • Each Associate is partnered with a mentor and additionally has regular group discussions with their teams.

What are the most important skills and qualities for an Associate?

  • A strong Associate is someone who can multitask, is focused, is a strong writer and communicator, is personable and has a willingness to learn.
  • Being proactive is key – Make it known that you’re there and excited to roll up your sleeves, ask tons of questions, and never be afraid to volunteer to take a stab on an assignment, no matter how hard it may seem.
  • Resilience! It takes patience and hard work to succeed, as well as attention to detail – check your work and then again.
  • Curiosity and love of learning are very important, especially as you work on a variety of client accounts across different industries.
  • Be adaptable, a creative thinker and a team player!

What is the most surprising or interesting thing you’ve learned or done as an Associate?

  • The most interesting thing for me has been working on influencer campaigns. I enjoy the process of searching for influencers and working with them to bring a campaign to social media in an interactive way. It’s something I had never done before so it’s been great to learn all about it!
  • I’ve learned so much through my time so far. I like that I’m constantly learning across a variety of industries.
  • I have learned that I love the adrenaline that working in PR can give you while working with media to secure an article or interview for your client. I also loved how quickly I was able to help write press releases and pitches for well-known clients!
  • It’s interesting to know how many tools are accessible to build the right strategies and frameworks for a client. For instance, I incorporate ESG reporting, and data visualization inside some early-stage finance, fin-tech and sustainability brands and accounts.

What is your advice to an Associate candidate in the interview process?

  • Be authentic and bring enthusiasm to all of your interviews! Show the interviewers you are excited to work at RF|Binder.
  • Embrace your success stories but do not be afraid of also embracing moments of vulnerability as it speaks to your purpose and the work you do that will benefit RF|Binder and the world.
  • Practice social awareness and understand what is happening in the world right now.
  • Be personable and professional. We want to know all about your experience and the skills you bring, but we also want to get to know you and how you would enjoy the culture at RF|Binder. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and show personality!
  • My biggest piece of advice is to ask questions and do your research about our company and clients. Come prepared.
  • Don’t hesitate to take your resume to another level. Create something speaking uniquely to who you are and what you bring to the table.

I’m still choosing classes for my final semester. Were there any classes that gave you valuable skills for your work as an Associate?

At RF|Binder, we are seeking individuals with an array of experiences and perspectives. No specific coursework or concentration is required to work here. That said, many of our team members suggested the following classes could be helpful:

  • One thing that I love about RFB is that the company celebrates people from diverse backgrounds. I’ve learned that there’s no “right” background to work here, but I definitely learned a lot from my writing and research-based courses.
  • Any class where you’re writing a lot of essays – most upper-level comms classes have long-term writing assignments that make you develop a strategy/approach, research a topic and then condense that information.
  • Writing for Media Relations – An opportunity to practice structuring and drafting a wide range of media materials, which Associates do often in their day-to-day work.
  • Classes that require a lot of research or that teach you research-based skills/tools (i.e. Simmons, MRI, LexisNexus, etc.)
  • A class that teaches the PESO model!
  • Film & Media Studies
  • Sustainable Business Strategy
  • Marketing and Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship – they’ll get you thinking outside the box!
  • Presentation Building or Public Speaking

What else should Associate candidates know?

  • You’ll hit the ground running on your first day, and when you look back after a few months, you’ll be shocked (and pleased!) with how much you’ve already grown and strengthened key skills!
  • RF|Binder has been the perfect place to start my career. I truly have learned so much and am surrounded by some of the smartest and most genuine people every day. RF|Binder is a great place to grow, and Associates gain firsthand experience and insight into many different industries across client accounts.
  • At RF|Binder, your growth and passions are accounted for, and people want to see you succeed.
  • Starting out at an agency provides you the launchpad you need to be able to handle anything the PR industry throws at you, and RF|Binder does an amazing job at molding you into a PR professional.
  • This is a fantastic place to work – it is a dynamic, welcoming and highly educational work environment.

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