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Fleishman-Hillard Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

What are the advantages of hiring a public relations firm?

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Fleishman-Hillard Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What are the advantages of hiring a public relations firm?

      Not every company will be large enough to have an internal PR department, which is often where companies like FleishmanHillard come into play. There are a plethora of advantages to hiring a PR firm such as the ability to find experts in your particular sector, rather than a generalist. Also, a great PR firm will be more neutral and objective when it comes to crisis or reputation management. Discuss with the interviewer the ways that you feel FleishmanHillard would be of great benefit to their clients.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The biggest advantages of hiring a firm such as FleishmanHillard include the existing media contacts that you can offer a client, which they will likely not have. Getting ahead of the press is often the biggest key to recovering from a crisis and an independent PR firm will always be much better at this. Also, an agency like FleishmanHillard will be able to be more objective when it comes to problem-solving, as they are not personally involved in the daily operations."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There are many advantages to hiring a PR firm or agency like FleishmanHillard. Some of these advantages include unbiased opinions, a more proactive team, excellent media contacts, and expertise in a specific niche."

  2. 2.

    The ability to write clearly and succinctly is vital when building public relations campaigns for FleishmanHillard's clients. How have you developed your written communication skills?

      As expected, written communication skills are essential when working on PR campaigns. FleishmanHillard's hiring managers are interested in candidates who have made efforts to strengthen their communication skills over the years.

      Talk about different projects and situations where you had the opportunity to utilize and build your writing skills. Also, highlight any strengths you have with a particular writing style or possibly a PR project you worked on where your writing skills played a critical role.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my prior positions, writing has been a key component of my job responsibilities. As an analyst, my writing skills were used to communicate with a variety of team members of varying backgrounds. When I moved on to public relations, I learned to write for an even broader general audience through a variety of press releases. As I exercised my writing skills, I found the challenge was to write an explanatory piece in a clear and concise manner. Through many different PR projects, I can confidently say writing is now a strength of mine, and I look forward to providing this skill to FleishmanHillard's clients."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Writing has always been a passion of mine throughout my education and career. Working with a few different companies, I have been able to hone my writing skills through a variety of projects. I have written creative pieces as part of the marketing team and also have developed informational pieces while working on blog posts for company websites. These experiences have helped me develop clear and descriptive writing skills necessary while working on PR campaigns. I continually seek ways to improve my business writing skills through workshops and seminars and am an avid reader of business news journals, which gives me exposure to many different writing styles."

  3. 3.

    In the early stages of strategy building, we must evaluate a clients' business both internally and externally. When working on marketing strategies for FleishmanHillard's clients, what initial steps would you take to begin the process?

      By asking this question, hiring managers at FleishmanHillard want to see how you begin executing your marketing strategy work. Solid execution of the initial stages is essential to avoid wasting time or having to re-execute any initial phases.

      As an outside consultant, learning and gathering information is one of the most crucial initial steps of strategy building. Talk about how you would thoroughly research the client's business and its marketing goals. Mention what specific types of information you would be seeking and how you would obtain it.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the first steps of building marketing strategies include a thorough evaluation of a client's business and the competitive landscape of the industry in which it competes. Successful execution of this initial step will allow the efficient completion of subsequent phases of the process. It will be important to learn the company's overall goals as well as gain a deep understanding of its products or services. I would gather this information by conducting in-depth interviews with several team members at different levels of the company. Also, it will be important to understand the industry and the client's competitive position within it. This knowledge will require research and interviews with industry experts outside the company, allowing me to gain an outside perspective."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When helping FleishmanHillard's clients build or revise their marketing strategies, it will be important to understand their marketing history along with their current marketing efforts. This understanding will tell me which marketing tactics have worked in the past and those that were found to be ineffective. It will also reveal how the industry, in which they compete, has changed over time. All this information will help build a marketing strategy for the client's future. It would be most beneficial to interview veteran employees of the company who have witnessed the changes, successes, and failures over the years. However, it will also be valuable to gather information from newer members of the team who may have a fresh perspective of the company's current marketing position. Quantitative information, such as sales and consumer research data, will be important to marry with the qualitative information from employee interviews."

  4. 4.

    At FleishmanHillard, we believe in learning from other PR campaigns, both positive and negative. Can you talk about a campaign you have seen that taught you a lesson you can apply in the future?

      FleishmanHillard believes in learning from successes and mistakes, both internal and external to the company. Hiring managers are looking for a candidate with the same open-minded mentality.

      By sharing a specific campaign that provided a learning opportunity, it lets hiring managers at FleishmanHillard know that you are a proactive learner, ready to build high-quality PR campaigns. It also shows your ability to identify aspects of improvement in campaigns that were not entirely successful.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The Dove Real Beauty campaign was a successful campaign for the Unilever company as it addressed an alarming statistic - at that time, only 2% of women considered themselves to be beautiful. The campaign used 'real' women in the campaign as opposed to professional models. Unilever was successful at initiating the conversation about real beauty, and it increased sales during the campaign. I believe it was successful at identifying a theme that many women could relate to and a successful connection was made with its target group."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "A Pepsi ad starring Kendall Jenner in the middle of a Black Lives Matter protest. The problem with this campaign was it minimized the seriousness of this movement as it portrayed a Pepsi being the solution to this deep racial issue. I learned from this campaign how important it is to get feedback from people of various races and backgrounds. If qualitative research had been done before the release, Pepsi likely would not have faced the backlash. Money and time spent on research are worthwhile to avoid potential damage to the company image and brand."

  5. 5.

    How do you believe social media has changed the public relations game?

      Social media has changed the way we do nearly everything in business, and the interviewer would like to know the ways you believe it's had the most significant impact when it comes to PR. FleishmanHillard is well known for providing expertise in media relations and social innovation so it will be vital for you to show your depth of knowledge on the topic of social media.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Social media has changed the PR game in every imaginable way. Social media has entirely changed how companies communicate with their target customers and vice versa. Communication through traditional advertising used to mean one-way communication, and social media has changed it to be a two-way street. Now, customers can engage with any brand by liking, sharing and commenting. This engagement means more real-time data for companies, on how their content is performing, allowing them to quickly steer away from a potentially ineffective, or even damaging campaign."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that social media has forced companies to look at the flaws in their customer service, and customer engagement strategies. Social media now ensures companies build genuine customer relationships through conversation. Today, customers can take to Twitter to report bad customer experiences, for instance. This action means companies must address complaints immediately."

  6. 6.

    FleishmanHillard is looking for PR experts who can communicate persuasively. Share with us a time you worked on a campaign that successfully persuaded an audience.

      An essential aspect of many public relations campaigns is convincing your audience to take action. By the audience taking action, they are making a connection to the company and its message. Describe a PR campaign you worked on that included a call to action. Include what the response was to the campaign and if you considered it a success.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked on a few PR campaigns for clients looking to build a connection with their current and potential customers. I worked on a campaign for a health foods company that was donating a portion of its sales to non-profit organizations promoting healthy living to low-income families. During this limited time campaign, the client's sales increased by 5%. Also, there was a significant positive increase in its brand image, and of course low-income families benefited as they were able to learn about healthy nutrition habits."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Through my prior positions, I have had the opportunity to work on a few PR campaigns, and through each one, I have learned lessons that I was able to apply to future campaigns. For example, I worked with a client looking to promote its work with environmentally conscious non-profits. After analyzing results from the campaign, we learned that we did not target the correct audience and utilize the appropriate media channels. I believe the lessons I have learned while working on past PR campaigns will be valuable in serving FleishmanHillard's clients."

  7. 7.

    How do you learn and grow when it comes to branding, design, and marketing?

      It is essential for FleishmanHillard that their team members are interested in continuous professional development. Discuss with the interviewer what you do to make sure you are on top of industry trends. Talk about what you do to keep yourself educated on new design techniques. Show the hiring authorities at FleishmanHillard that you have a desire to expand your design knowledge continually.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I agree with FleishmanHillard that continuous professional development is critical to my success. In addition to my degree, I recently earned my Brand Management Certificate. I enjoy taking online courses and workshops, ensuring that I remain up to date on the latest branding, design, and marketing trends."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I do a lot of reading, educating myself on topics related to marketing, design, and branding. Also, I grow and learn by committing to at least one online course per quarter. This past month I took a workshop on the psychology behind brand colors and other design elements."

  8. 8.

    Tell me about your experience in content marketing and why you feel a successful content marketing strategy is vital to an overall digital strategy?

      The interviewer wants to gain insight on your perspective of content marketing and the role it plays in promoting a company and brand. Answer first by presenting your experience in content marketing, followed up by explaining why content is essential. Then, provide an example of a time you used content to drive a message home to an audience.

      Don't forget to provide examples of how data helped you decide on appropriate content and how you measured the success of material you implemented including testing and metrics.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Content is important because it makes you a source of entertainment and learning for your audience. This offering turns your audience into advocates for your brand. I once ran a campaign for products that were supposed to help messy consumers get organized. Using data about our target audience, I realized most of my audience were in their middle stages of life, had big homes, and loved shopping and accumulating tons of stuff. But they were bad at staying organized. They couldn't find things when they needed them, and often spent lots of time hunting for them or wasted money making duplicate purchases. I found countless opportunities to create humorous but useful, visually stimulating before and after posts. The posts got tons of likes, comments, and shares from women on Facebook and Pinterest who shared and recommended the ideas. They were a source of new ideas, too, because they'd ask for more suggestions and it made me understand how they ticked. From there, I conjured up new ways to present the products. Delivering on their requests kept the content success going. Impressions and engagement on the social media pages increased by double digits month over month for more than a whole year and the product name is becoming synonymous with home organization."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Content marketing is an essential way to humanize a brand and establish a meaningful connection with your audience. My team created a campaign to market a pickup truck brand that historically catered to audiences living in rural areas. Our data showed that many of the potential consumer's idealized small-town life, hard work, and conservative views. We used video and picture content that showed actors whose appearance was such that they could easily be a neighbor to any of our audience members. In each piece, they would talk about how they loved their trucks; the same brand as the one we advertised, and how it allowed them to their help friends and family make a living and support their local and national economies. Our content conveyed in a heartwarming way that consumers who bought these pickup trucks were not just supporting a brand, but upholding a responsibility and sense of community. Many people in our audience commented on our posts with stories of their own, expressing their loyalty and affinity to the brand. After this, we saw an increase in repeat purchases and a surge in new customers who received this interaction with our content as valid social proof."

  9. 9.

    FleishmanHillard works with clients on their content marketing strategy. What role do you think content marketing plays in developing brands?

      It is vital that team members at FleishmanHillard understand the purpose and importance of a well-defined content marketing strategy. Hiring managers at FleishmanHillard want to see that you know effective content marketing builds more than awareness of a client's brand.

      In your response, convey your understanding of the purpose of content marketing which is to build a positive reputation for a client's brand. Also, stress the importance of making a connection with the target audience.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have witnessed firsthand the importance of having a solid content marketing strategy in place. Content marketing allows you to make a connection with your target audience through educational information. A company's ability to provide content valuable to readers boosts its reputation as an expert on that particular topic. The content should be related to the products and services the client offers. Also, clients should tie their offerings into the content without losing the authentic nature of the piece by taking a strong sales tone."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Content marketing's purpose should be both to increase the visibility of a brand and to build up a client's reputation. Also, companies should look to create value for the audience by providing educational information. The value provided to the target customers creates a connection and builds up the company's reputation from their perspective. Content marketing takes brands a step further beyond awareness."

  10. 10.

    If you could only pick one area of focus to build on and connect with a target audience, what would it be, and why?

      Your answer will likely not be considered right or wrong, but it will give the interviewer insight on your thought process, how you connect with an audience and your decision-making abilities. Answer candidly and try to resonate with facts or data. Be sure to answer decisively. It's great to be able to think on your feet, but it's also alright to show that you're both thoughtful and confident.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While I think that a brand's strategy is usually successful due to its various moving parts, I have seen that emphasizing values is a significant part of building a strong connection with the target customer. When surveying customers, I learned they chose brands over others because they believed they could rely on them wholeheartedly. This data made me understand that the value of reliability struck a huge chord with the audience, so I planned a successful ad campaign that showed its employees serving customers overnight, on weekends, and holidays. If I were only allowed to chose one area of focus to boost branding, the value would be it due to this experience."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Studies show that the most impact made on an audience is at the emotional level. If your audience feels that you understand their hopes and dreams, they'll also believe that you're well suited to help achieve them. Almost 48% of consumers say that they rely on companies they trust for guidance on products and services that will help them. So, if I could only focus on one area of building a brand's identity, I'd choose to build a connection with the audience by demonstrating our knowledge of their wants and needs and how we can help to attain them."

  11. 11.

    What do you believe is the biggest culprit of reputation crisis, today?

      The interviewer would like to understand what you believe to be the biggest driver of crisis for companies, today. Discuss how you feel the digital age has affected the way companies are viewed in the public eye. You could also address common factors that you see when it comes to reputations threats, today.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that the biggest culprit of reputation crisis today remains an unclear vision. When a company seems to be split on their vision, their talking points, and their overall brand, that will be a significant weak spot. The moment something goes awry, this weak spot will grow and threaten the health of the company in its entirety."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In today's digital age, I believe the biggest culprit of a reputation crisis is lack of planning when it comes to the social media and social networking side of a business. The internet is forever, and many companies still do not have clear branding and messaging strategy when it comes to their online footprint. These days, all it takes is one bad tweet that is misconstrued by the public, and a company could be facing a firestorm online."

  12. 12.

    Research is an integral part of the brand development process. What is your analytical experience as it relates to brands?

      FleishmanHillard is looking for candidates with some level of brand analytical experience. Your experience may be related to any phase of the process, as long as it is relevant to brand development or brand evaluation.

      Some areas brand analytics come in to play is in identifying target audiences, developing creative and selecting channels. Also, brands go through an evaluation on an ongoing basis through customer surveys.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am excited about the possible opportunity to put my brand analytical skills to use to meet the brand development needs of FleishmanHillard's clients. My previous projects have allowed me to gain extensive experience in evaluating and monitoring clients' brands. Through my analyses, I have been able to identify opportunities for clients to improve their brand positions. My brand analytical experience helps me determine what measures need to be looked at to make careful brand development decisions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an active team member on a brand development team, I was tasked with making recommendations on target customers and providing analytics to support them. While working towards developing my recommendations, I learned the importance of telling a story through the analyses. The ability to look at the numbers and build a story is an important skill to have in the brand development process as it can help FleishmanHillard's clients make the necessary strategic brand decisions."

  13. 13.

    What do you find to be the most difficult aspect when helping clients build their marketing strategy?

      As a consultant, there may be challenges you face when undertaking the task of building a client's marketing strategy. Being external to the company gives you a fresh, unbiased perspective on the current situation, but there is much to learn to help you execute your task effectively. FleishmanHillard is looking for someone who can learn about its clients' cases thoroughly and efficiently.

      Talk about the most challenging aspect you encountered while serving as an outside marketing strategy consultant and how you dealt with it. If you have never had the role of an external consultant, refer to your internal marketing strategy work experience and the challenges you may have faced. Hiring managers at FleishmanHillard want to know you will be ready to face any difficulties that may arise from their clients' projects.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Working as an external consultant, it was usually a challenge to gather information and data to begin the strategy building process. However, I found the most challenging aspect is learning the culture of the client's company. I think learning culture is an important aspect of the process as it affects the overall marketing strategy and goals for the company. Learning the company culture also has helped me more effectively communicate with the key players in the strategy building process. I will put my experience dealing with different corporate cultures to good use at FleishmanHillard."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although I have not worked as an external marketing consultant, my work experience has included direct involvement with marketing strategies. Having been involved with most phases of the strategy building process, I find the most challenging task to be putting the 'puzzle pieces' together - taking the information and creating a story about where the company is at from a marketing perspective and what needs to be done to reach its goals. However, each client project has given me valuable experience that I will use while working at FleishmanHillard."

  14. 14.

    FleishmanHillard believes that for visitors to have an enjoyable experience on a website or an app, its functions and formatting should be human-centric. How does this tie into the big picture when it comes to digital strategy?

      Help the interviewer see into your philosophy behind user experience, its impact, and the importance in digital strategy. First, tell the interviewer how your beliefs in user experience align with those of FleishmanHillard. Then explain exactly how your approach complements other areas of digital strategy. Avoid describing the process of user experience planning; that will not directly address the question.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The experience on a company's digital platforms needs to be human-centric and designed to fit in with the customer's needs. I know this from experience because I've seen campaigns where a company placed a lot of focus on collateral or different kinds of content, but when the customers made it to the website, whether because it was unattractive or they couldn't figure out how to use it, they quickly lost interest. When we don't match the target audience's preferences to a digital platform's functionality and feel, it can contradict all other messaging and branding that's been convincing until this point. The customer will lose trust or become confused, and this causes them to skip the buyers' cycle. In this situation, the final result for the company is negative, and they suffer a loss in sales."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Website and app experiences designed with customers in mind are an essential part of digital strategy. The online platform may be the first or only place where the customer gathers an impression of a company, then decides whether or not to make a purchase. When user experience is well-planned, the website or app can become a place of comfort for the customer and allows them to feel connected with the brand. It also makes decisions easy for the customer. Being able to intuitively navigate a site to learn about product details and pricing, for example, or seamlessly follow calls to action and complete purchases lowers the resistance and pushes sales to the finish line. Finally, the positive experience creates new opportunities because happy customers often return and refer others."

  15. 15.

    In your opinion, what is the best practice for handling bad press?

      FleishmanHillard works very hard for their clients, ensuring that any bad press, or public crisis, is handled with professionalism and suave. The interviewer would like to see that you are on the same page as FleishmanHillard when it comes to helping their clients manage their reputation through a crisis or bad press.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the best practice for handling bad press is to have one dedicated spokesperson for the company, who can create a consistent message and image for the public to absorb. Generally, this would the be CEO or another leader of the company, who has been trained on positive talking points when dealing with the press. Despite the crisis, this person should remain focused on the positive aspects of their company by speaking to its strengths."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Many companies have recovered very well from a crisis, and the common factor seems to be getting ahead of the bad press. One step could be to push negative reviews and bad comments away from page one, using SEO techniques. Another would be to call the media and get your talking points out before they can turn a negative situation into a full-blown crisis. This effort could including putting together a list of potential questions, and having key members of the company practice answering those specific sets of questions."

  16. 16.

    Helping clients with their brand strategy is one of the first phases of brand development. How can your experience with brand strategies be of value when working with FleishmanHillard's clients?

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  17. 17.

    What do you believe are the critical stages of creating and implementing plans in digital strategy to ensure client success?

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  18. 18.

    When working with FleishmanHillard's clients, it is useful to have some understanding or experience with community relations. Tell us about your experiences in this area, a challenge you faced and how you overcame it.

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  19. 19.

    A company should perform audits of their online presence to assess current performance. How can we ensure FleishmanHillard's audit service provides maximum value?

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  20. 20.

    A large part of creating content is in the creative process, but what strategic elements need to be considered for content creation to be highly effective?

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  21. 21.

    Market assessment is an essential first step to building a strategy centered around the customer, company, and competitor. Of these three, which do you feel you are most confident at assessing?

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  22. 22.

    FleishmanHillard is looking for candidates who can handle crisis communications quickly and effectively. Do you have experience managing communications for a company during a crisis?

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  23. 23.

    Storytelling has become an essential part of connecting with audiences, and marketing to potential customers. How can we use big data to employ this tactic in a way that resonates with an audience?

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  24. 24.

    FleishmanHillard helps companies identify a brand that accurately represents their core values while creating a lasting customer connection. In your opinion, what is the best way to build a brand across digital platforms?

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  25. 25.

    How do you think social media can influence SEO or vice versa?

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  26. 26.

    When have you led a team in creating a new digital strategy campaign for your company or a client? What was the outcome?

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  27. 27.

    Brand development is a continuous process. At FleishmanHillard, we help our clients with brand tracking efforts. Describe your experience with the brand tracking process.

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  28. 28.

    FleishmanHillard's clients compete in a variety of industries. Industry experience is helpful, particularly with market assessments. Which sectors do you have experience with, and which one do you feel the most confident working within?

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  29. 29.

    What is the key to quickly developing trust with a company under crisis?

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  30. 30.

    Talk about your experience building marketing strategies. What was your specific role, and how does it fit into what we do at FleishmanHillard?

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