Day in the life: Senior Account Manager, PR – Carnsight Communications

POSTED

30th April 2024

AUTHOR

Leigh-Ann Hewer

Reading time

3 minutes

Yeah, but what do you actually do?

I get asked that a lot. The reality is, most people in my life could tell you my job title, but not necessarily what it is I spend my working day doing. And that makes sense! PR is not an industry that’s widely understood, and publicists wear so many hats it can be tricky to sum it all up.

But today, I’m going to have a crack.

In our ‘Day in the Life’ series, we’ll walk you through the average day in each role at Carnsight Communications with the hopes that it gives you a bit more clarity on what it is we spend our days getting up to. Maybe you’re interested in a career in PR, or maybe you’re wondering what the PR you’re paying actually spends their time doing. Either way, here’s a bit of a sneak peak.

 

Around 8am to 9am – My work day technically starts at 8:30am but I always get into the office by 8. This is mainly to avoid traffic, but I also like a bit of quiet time in the mornings to have a coffee and work my way through my emails before the day really kicks in. I’ll respond to any emails that can be done in a few minutes or less, and use my email inbox to write a to do list. The reality is, my to do lists are for the week, rather than the day, as there’s just too much changing and shifting for it to be that rigid. I just make sure I figure out what I need to prioritise each day and star those tasks. I use the bullet journal method for tasks that need migrating to other days etc.

Being a Senior Account Manager, or even honestly working in PR in general, requires a lot of willingness to pivot and shift. It’s pretty fast paced meaning it’s common to have to jump between tasks and switch from one client to another in a short space of time (I’ll be working on anything from around five to ten clients at a time – it averages at around six, I would say). It can be challenging, as Carnsight also works across a range of sectors and so I can be working on a food business one minute and a marketing agency brand the next, but also keeps things fresh and interesting. It’s a skill that I’ve definitely honed over time – and there’s still plenty of room for improvement!

Now also seems like a good time to cover off what the general goal of my job is. Ultimately, my job as a Publicist (or PR as some say) is to get my clients mentioned in the media – whether that be TV, podcasts, social media or online news sites. I do this by working with my clients and colleagues to pull out stories from the business and the people in the business that we think the media might find interesting, creating PR worthy content in the form of press releases, opinion articles and social media content, and then pitching that to journalists, producers etc who I think might consider publishing.

Around 9am – 11am – I know everyone says that it’s best to eat the frog first (AKA do the hardest biggest task first to get it out of the way) but I’m not going to lie, it’s those quick email wins in the morning that give me the momentum I need to tackle the big tasks. So right after that is usually when I start the larger tasks. Maybe it’s writing a press release talking about our clients latest event, maybe it’s a big round of journalist pitches for a client’s newest senior appointment, or maybe it’s drafting a thought leadership piece on an industry topic on a client’s behalf. Whatever it is, if it takes me any longer than half an hour, I’m likely to try and do it here. Especially if one of those tasks is a piece of writing (all of us in the office seem to agree our creative brains get a bit dead in terms of writing by the afternoon!). There is a lot of writing in my job.

Around 11am – 12/1pm – This is usually meeting time. Whether it’s an internal status meeting where we cover off what we’re each doing and how we can help each other, or a client meeting to discuss progress on a project, meetings can be a really useful way to cover off important updates and be clear on who’s doing what. We have bi-weekly check-in meetings with most of our clients which allows them to know exactly how a PR campaign is going and also gives them an opportunity to update us on things going on within the business or provide us with more thoughts or ideas for content.

We also try to have internal status meetings as often as time allows to ensure our work as a team is as streamlined as possible. We’ve gotten our meetings down pretty well now, always ensuring we’re as targeted and efficient as possible. But that doesn’t mean there’s not time for small talk! Our clients often appreciate our friendly and approachable nature. For us, excellent client service is about being both efficient and warm in the way we communicate. We’ve been told by many clients that they often feel like they’re our only client even when we’re working across multiple accounts, which is a great compliment.

Statuses and other meetings usually result in further actions to be taken that get added to the to do list. As Senior Account Manager, I not only work on the day-to-day elements of client work, but work with Business Owner, Jess, to aid with new business proposals, invoicing or additional offerings for clients. Part of my professional development means being able to contribute to the wider picture of the business. My role as Senior Account Manager also involves being a line manager, so I have to make sure my direct report is supported in her work and is developing professionally in the way she wants. I set her targets (as Jess, my manager, sets mine) and help her to meet those targets to reach the next step or level in her career. I like to think that I’m also there to chat through any struggles that have come up or if there’s anything I can help with work load or mental load wise – but you’d have to ask my direct report for her opinion on that 😀

12/1pm – Lunch. Lunch time flexes depending on what meetings and other tasks we have going on in the day, but generally I take my lunch between 12 and 1. I’m not great at always getting away from my desk and going outside (though I’m always encouraged by my colleagues) but that’s something that I’m working on, especially as the summer approaches and the weather brightens up.

1/2pm – 4pm – This is another common meeting time, primarily for client meetings. These might be meetings where I interview a client in order to write up an opinion article for them, or it might be that we’re meeting a journalist to discuss a client or upcoming news story. If I have no meetings in the diary around now, I’ll go back to that to do list and continue working through it. Pitching, writing, social media posting, social ad optimising, media list developing, strategy presenting, journalist chasing, influencer outreach: whatever else needs done can be picked up here.

4pm – 4:30pm – My working day ends at around 4:30pm so for the last half an hour of work I’m making sure I’ve wrapped up any urgent tasks, and know exactly what needs to be prioritised tomorrow. I’ll check in with my colleagues and we’ll exchange anything we can do to help each other out or contribute to getting a project over the line. If I haven’t done so that week already, I’ll send clients an update email covering all the key priorities and where we stand with each one. Being Senior Account Manager means always ensuring the client feels up-to-date, valued and We never leave mid-task if it can be helped, so sometimes I’ll stay over if something really important has come up but this is pretty rare. Maybe once a month I’ll have an event after work, or I’ll stay 10-15mins over because my head is really focused on a task, but again, this is pretty rare. The culture at Carnsight means that no-one is expected to work over.

 

So there you have it, an average day in the life of a Senior Account Manager at Carnsight. I was only really able to scratch the surface, but hopefully that gives you a better idea of the kinds of things I get up to. It’s interesting to see how as my job title and role has evolved, my day has too. Sometimes I wish I had really noted what my day looked like in this way when I was an intern, just to see the contrast! If you are curios about what a PR internship looks like, you could check out our blog from Megan, who was an intern for us back in 2020.