A day in the life of a busy NYC PR team? For me that often means starting the day with a great idea sparked by something I’ve heard or read in the morning news. Since I wake up and scan Twitter, Facebook, The New York Post, NY Times the Skimm, catch some of CBS Morning News and then listen to NPR while driving into work, by the time I get to my office I have at least one good idea for a media pitch, new business campaign or company-created content.
Along those lines, here’s what the rest of a typical day in the agency PR life looks like.
First…swallow a frog. Ever since I was introduced to the expression (“swallowing a frog” = tackling a dreaded task) I have lived by my own mantra of swallowing it first thing in the day, when possible. This can mean anything from having a difficult client conversation or crafting a complicated project proposal.
Conduct some PR “mini-meetings.” As most would agree, meetings can be a major time-suck and many are actually less than productive. This is why we like to have mini-meetings of just a few minutes to connect as a team. Everyone appreciates face time, and getting caught up on deliverables and deadlines is key, but it need not be time-consuming. Though I may be dying to dish on what happened on “Homeland” last night, I’ll save that for another part of the day.
PR means always having to follow up. We’ve put our heads together to figure out the best times of day to reach particular media contacts, and there’s somewhat of a science to it. There’s even a PR Facebook group that has crowdsourced this thoroughly, and I’m inclined to follow their advice on when to reach out to a.m. show producers, for example. I also “calendarize” my follow-up so I know who’s expecting what, when.
Let the creative juices flow. Often the most satisfying part of my day, this usually means creating content for campaigns ranging from bylines to blog posts, or it might be a proposal with a creative theme that informs tactical recommendations. Ask any PR person what they enjoy most about their jobs, and most will probably say writing.
Measure everything. Some say PR is more an art than a science, but not when it comes to assessing results and reporting. At the end of the day, I take a hard look at all projects to get a handle on what kind of return the team is seeing on a given time or dollar investment. It might be fees paid to a media spokesperson or committed to a consumer survey or simply an investment of time developing and pursuing a potential story. This stock-taking helps my team quantify the day’s results and set up for challenges of the next day.
The “office” part of the day may end there but given the demands of the job, I could be attending an event or having a business dinner, but the best way to end a “day in the life” is with a glass of wine and a workout, not in that order.