I have a 40-minute commute to the office, and by the time I arrive at my desk at around 8.30am I will have already checked work emails and scrolled through various news apps. Working in PR, it's really important that I stay across the news agenda as I might want to pitch clients for expert comment in the media, or suggest a longer article that will link to a current debate. As B2B PR Director, my clients hail from various industries including tech, construction, automotive and accountancy. I love the variety that comes with working in a busy agency, and really enjoy getting to know different types of businesses and what makes them tick.
By 9am I'm on my second cup of tea, and it's time to check cuttings to see what coverage my clients have been getting. We have a cuttings service that picks up relevant stories, allowing us to accurately report results back to the client. I'll also take a look at Response Source's media request service, which journalists and bloggers use to call out to PRs for expert comments or case studies. If there's anything interesting, I'll contact the journalist to find out more, then work with my client to create a suitable response.
At 10am I have a half-hour internal meeting ahead of a client meeting at the end of the week. This is when all the PMW staff who work on a particular account get together to check our schedule is running smoothly. As a full-service agency we might be working on various projects for one client, such as a new website, a social media campaign or an awards event.
Back at my desk, I start researching information for an article I'm writing on inheritance tax. I also pull together media contacts and features lists to see where the piece might receive the most prominent coverage. Sometimes I'll agree an exclusive with a journalist, but there are other times when it's best to send out an article or press release to a wider list. I spend the rest of the morning replying to emails or ringing clients and contacts. Although email is great in many ways, I tend to prefer actual conversations. It's often quicker to chat things through than to let an email exchange drip-drip throughout the day.
At 12.30pm I take a half-hour break for lunch (most people have an hour, but I compress my hours so that I can leave at 5pm). We are a very sociable company and it's nice to eat together and catch up on everyone's news.
After lunch I put the finishing touches to a script for a client event. I really enjoy the writing side of my job, and although we have a dedicated copywriting team at PMW, it's great to stay hands-on and come up with creative new ways to get a business's message across. Writing about a company really helps to get under its skin, and find a tone of voice that will accurately reflect the brand and appeal to prospective customers.
At 2pm I set off for a client meeting with Jackie (PMW Account Manager) and Nikki (our Head of Digital). We're in the early stages of a PR and SEO campaign that will help drive new visitors to the company's e-commerce site. Digital has become such an integral part of our work, and I'm constantly learning new skills as the online world evolves.
The meeting lasts around 90 minutes, and by 4.30pm I'm back at my desk checking emails and replying to anything urgent. The final job of the day is to fill out a timesheet detailing exactly how my day has been spent. It's important that clients can see precisely what they are getting for their fee; transparency builds trust, and that is crucially important to our agency. Many of our clients stay with us for years – even decades! – which is something we're really proud of.
At 5pm I leave the office and head off to collect my children from their after-school care by 6pm. As any working parent knows, you have to be ruthlessly organised to keep the balls in the air. Luckily I am naturally organised – my colleagues are already asking me if I've booked my 2020 holiday yet!
If you'd like PR advice for your business, contact Harriette at Harriette.Conroy@pmwcom.co.uk. And for information about any of our services, don't hesitate to get in touch.
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