Running your own PR business is without doubt hard work as Craig Pearce has shown us with one of his days, but maybe you’re interested in PR agency life. Well Kimberley Lee takes us through a typical Monday morning of an Account Manager at Edelman, one of the leading communication firms in the world.
Not only does Kimberley provide great insight into the daily activities of working in a PR agency, she also gives some great advice for PR students keen to get their feet in the industry:
“Working in PR today is a very exciting time! New communication means we have so many opportunities for engagement, not only with media but directly with all audiences we want to talk to. Get out there, get experience in the different kinds or PR and the different industries and find what really drives you.”
READY, STEADY, GO!
7.15am – on the train to Martin Place: check emails on my BlackBerry (also a client) and clear as much as I can. This is a great time for doing some reading: the news my RSS feeds, blogs, listening to podcasts. Or you can close your eyes and think about how good the weekend was as motivation to get through the work week to another sensational weekend.
7.35am – drop into Woolworths and stock up for the week. Put back packet of lollies and chips at the last minute.
8.05am – arrive at the office, make a nice bowl of porridge and boot up the computer.
• Address ‘urgent’ emails (although the word urgent starts to lose its urgency after a while!) and see what needs to be done for the day.
• Read the newspaper headlines for anything client related.
• Check my social networks and respond where necessary: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Delicious, Formspring, RSS reader etc.(Actually that’s a lie, I don’t generally get to RSS on Monday… which is why it looks so scary by the time I actually get around to it at the end of the week)
• Start to clear emails.
9.30am – Digital WIP – this is for the digital team at Edelman, one of the teams I’m part of. We catch up on client work, new business leads, any other activity happening and to see what everyone has done on the weekend.
9.50am – tech client WiP
10am – get shit done! Work on client specific tasks or refine strategies
10.15am – consumer client WIP
10.30am – get shit done, well, as much as you can in the next half hour before a regular client commitment pops up. After a while you get a feel for how long things take and you can really maximise blocks of time for tasks that need full focus.
11.00am – daily feedback to client for online community management. Make a tea and perhaps have a biscuit from the office kitchen (make mental note not to over-indulge)
11.15am – keep getting shit done for all clients. I have two tech clients, two consumer, one corporate. At the moment I’ve maxed out my capacity of working hours but sometimes you just need to step up and go where your skills are needed. In smaller agencies I’ve worked in you do work across a range of industries and the scope of work is a lot more refined. In a bigger consultancy like Edelman we have teams for each industry so you would normally stick to tech OR corporate OR consumer OR digital. But I like being across a range of teams, I get to know what’s happening in every corner of the office and it means I can continue to grow my skills in each specialisation until I know where I want to live.
12.30pm – break to make the best salad ever or duck out to pick up lunch then back to my desk to eat and prepare for bi-weekly client meeting. This happens weekly because I have two different clients with bi-weekly Monday meetings on alternate weeks. Monday is a popular day for catching up with clients!
1pm – continue to power through emails, media liaison, whatever is on the list to get done by COB Monday
2pm – client WIP meeting
4pm – head back to the office: start to work through emails in the taxi. Continue to get sh!t done
5pm – daily feedback to client for online community engagement
5.15pm – tie up anything that needs to be addressed that day and plan tasks for the following day/week. Continue to respond to emails from clients and Edelman offices overseas – the time difference can mean different hours if you have clients based in other countries
6pm – I try and leave by 6pm to get to the gym or MMA training. But sometimes, if you’re working on a major campaign or it’s a particularly busy time, or you’re working through a crisis then you just keeping going until the work is done. The hours can be long but if you’re working towards something great then it’s all the motivation you need.