Before entering the world of PR through an internship, I had very little understanding of what the role truly entailed in all its forms. I had no idea what a day looked like working at a PR agency. Now, seven months on, I’ve learnt exactly what the day in the life of a PR looks like and today I wanted to share it with you.
Perhaps this could offer some insight to those of you interested in working at a PR agency, or perhaps it just satisfies a sense of curiosity. Either way, here’s what a typical day in the life of a PR looks like. But first, a disclaimer…
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about the life of a PR in my seven months at Carnsight Communications PR agency, it’s that realistically every week could look different. In fact, every day could. It’s a very fast-paced and varied role which requires a lot of flexibility. My day isn’t always as structured as doing one kind of task in the morning, and another in the afternoon following lunch. That being said, there are definitely things that come up every day; regular tasks that really encompass what life essentially looks like from a day to day working in PR.
I start the day by catching up on emails. This actually is something I do at the same time every day. There are usually a lot of them. I work hard to keep my inbox as organised as possible as it’s the place I spend the most time during my working day. Emails are such an important means of communication. It’s how I keep in touch with clients, colleagues, journalists and publications. It’s often how I pitch clients and their pieces to media outlets, and keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to opportunities. I don’t think it’s an over-exaggeration to say email is everything in the profession.
I get to write all sorts of emails to all sorts of different people in varying tones, formalities and registers. One of my favourite parts of the job is how connected I feel to others, and email allows me to do that.
Based on what my inbox is looking like, I can start to form a to do list for the day. I can write down the things I need to action, emails that need to be sent, pitches I need to follow up and meetings I have with clients that day. I also like to catch up with Carnsight founder Jess to form this list. It’s important that we make sure between the two of us, we’re tackling everything that needs to be done that day. I also often split up my to do list via client and priority. It helps keeps my mind clear and focused throughout the day to have it all laid out.
The rest of my day is a lot less strictly scheduled…
Phone Calls, Video Conferences and Meetings
Similarly to emails, phone calls, video conferences and meetings are a really important way to keep connected. They allow me to make sure I’m delivering what the client really wants, listening to what they need, and keeping them informed, engaged and involved in the process of securing coverage.
Phone calls can also be really important when chasing journalists for responses to your pitches. Journalists are very busy people and sometimes the job involves a little following up. It’s vital you’re not wasting their time so when calling it’s important to have your pitch or question prepared.
PR is all about forming good working relationships and nurturing them. Phone calls, meetings and emails are very important in achieving this. Sometimes lunches or coffee meetings are involved. Sometimes you can have a long in-depth discussions and other times you need to get right to the point quickly. Its varied and social. I think it’s safe to say PR is sector for people people.
As a writing degree graduate and Masters student this is by far my favourite part of the job. PRs spend so much more time writing than many people realise. Press releases and op-eds, pitches and emails, blog and social media posts. If you can name it, we probably write it. We also spend a lot of time writing and editing alongside our clients. We work with so many intelligent and creative people who have fantastic and innovative thoughts and ideas for pieces we can PR.
The topics of our writings also varies massively from client to client. We might write a piece about digital marketing for one client, and then about mental health in the workplace for another. We could be writing about electric vehicles or organic baby comforters. Once again flexibility is key.
Along the same lines as this idea of flexibility and variety, research is a key part of a day in PR. Whether it is researching the topic of a thought-leadership piece you’re working on for a client, or researching what’s currently in the media, be prepared to spend a lot of time on Google if you work in PR. You might not be an expert in the world of online marketing, but if your client is, then you need to be sure what you’re presenting on their behalf is accurate and informed.
Being a PR means becoming a temporary expert in a wide range of weird and wonderful and very specific areas.
A huge part of PR, and perhaps in many ways, the job in its most basic form, is getting coverage for the client. Social media is a huge part of how we reach people and consume news in today’s world. I spend a lot of time sharing client coverage on a range of social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I also promote we do at Carnsight on these platforms. We have to also PR ourselves.
Twitter and LinkedIn are also huge in forming further working relationships. Following and engaging with journalists on twitter and keeping up with the #journorequest is also very important. As is making sure to support client businesses through their LinkedIn channels.
So there you have it, a day working at a PR agency. I honestly love the job and if you love working with people, writing and getting a chance to be creative every day then you will too. To find out more about what we do here at Carnsight, contact me or Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.