It is commonplace for young people to search for a job role or career with little guidance about what the position actually entails. With job descriptions and career advice on Public Relations (PR) often vague and confusing, GingerMay asked one of its members to record a typical working day to help demystify the PR industry.
Elizabeth Bristow, Account Executive:
With many of our clients are headquartered in US or Australia, checking and reading my emails before the working day allows me to process client activities that have taken place overnight.
Arriving to work at eight-thirty gives me time to action any of the activities that have progressed overnight. By completing these before my ‘official’ working day begins I am able to focus on larger, important issues at 9am. This is also a great time to call contacts based in Australia, catching them just before they end their working day.
It is not uncommon for press releases to be scheduled for send out at 9am and to spend a couple of hours ensuring the news reaches the most relevant contact for each publication. We have, of course, spent a number of hours researching the background of these clients in preparation for the release send out.
Once press releases have been sent to the right contacts, I put on the all-important kettle and answer any incoming or pressing emails. This slight pause in the day also allows time for blog writing!
A large part of my day will often be spent proofing articles sent over by clients or colleagues. Depending on the stage of proof, the time this takes will vary, but it’s important to be thorough with a keen eye for detail to spot any errors, or areas for improvement. I often also put calls into journalists at this time as most people are fairly receptive to talking to me, having read their emails and had time for coffee to get into their system!
In the fast moving world of advertising technology, it is essential the GingerMay team keep up to speed with the industry, so team meetings take place on a weekly basis – as well as practical training sessions every month – providing a great opportunity to obtain valuable opinions or advice from colleagues.
Lunch – typically I enjoy sitting in the park just three minutes from work.
As social media has become an important and essential tool for businesses, we post at least one update per day across GingerMay’s social platforms. This ensures our followers across Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are always aware of our – and our client’s – recent activities.
Working across my client accounts means conference calls often occur throughout my day. Regular client calls allow us to maintain communication and better understand client needs, intentions and expectations.
Emails arrive in my inbox continuously throughout the day, so at every opportunity I check to see if they contain any urgent actions. It is important to be able to prioritise activities and allow flexibility for urgent issues to overtake minor updates.
In the final hour at work I focus on completing as many outstanding activities as possible. This will mean a final check on progress across all accounts, making final calls to journalists following up coverage or pitches and sending off proofed articles to relevant contacts.
If there are no urgent activities to complete, I leave to go home on time. This enables me to return the next morning energised and excited to begin the day, although I do check my emails a couple of times in the evening to make sure there are no urgent issues.
Whilst this conveys a typical day in my working life, the role varies considerably. I find the variation exciting and the day is over surprisingly quickly. Our main sector, advertising technology, is a fast moving industry with new technologies and terminologies continually emerging, making it a very stimulating sector to pursue PR in.
PR may not be for everyone, but if you are great at prioritising, organising, and enjoy the technological developments of today, it could be the perfect career path for you.