When discussing my work with a stranger, the conversation usually goes like this:
‘So, what do you do?’
‘I work in Public Relations’
‘Or right, is that the same as advertising?’
Even now, after many years of telling friends and family about how my day was, I still get the question of, ‘Niamh, what exactly do you do all day?’
The answer is anything and everything. As anyone working in PR will know, no two days are ever the same, and this is why I love what I do. Sitting at your desk and writing a ‘to do’ list out for the day is sometimes a useless task, as you can end up spending the day doing everything that wasn’t on the list. No day can ever be planned.
This week we have had some extremely busy days in the TravelMedia.ie office. Here is how one of them panned out…
8:30am: Arrive to my desk and log on. Emails are opened already and important ones have been flagged – this is a task that takes place every morning on the bus journey to work. The first job every morning is to check online, print and broadcast media for client mentions. Links and PDFs of mentions are then sent to clients and shared on our social media sites.
9:30am: Social media time. At TravelMedia.ie we manage a number of Facebook and Twitter accounts for clients. Every morning we must generate between 10 and 15 tweets for each Twitter account, and between two to four posts for each Facebook account. All of these tweets and posts are then scheduled to ensure there is a constant stream of content being distributed throughout the day. This time is also used to check notifications on each account and then reply to followers and fans, retweet mentions and like comments. Engagement with fans and followers is very important.
10:30am: Depending on the day, we will check in with certain clients to enquire as to whether they would like a press release distributed that week. Sometimes the client will already have an angle in mind. Other times we will have to develop an angle and take some time to research a topic online. Most mornings are spent writing press releases. Once written, press releases are then sent to clients for sign off. When they have been given the green light they are then distributed to the appropriate media lists, posted on our website and shared across our social channels.
12:00pm: Website updates. A page on our website is in need of some freshening up so I update the text, embed some videos and add some new images.
12:30pm: Manhunt. One of my colleague’s clients has an event planned for which a male model is required to pose as a ship captain. My colleague has just been sent images of male models from a modelling agency. This decision is one of importance, and one that all of the girls in the office must be involved in. We sit around her desk and give feedback on the options. Our job is so tough sometimes.
01:00pm: Time for a quick bite to eat at the desk – busy days sometimes don’t allow for lunch breaks!
01:30pm: Press trip follow ups. Press trips are something that we organise on a regular basis. Once invitations have been sent out, follow ups must be done. Journalists are busy people so phone calls and texts are sometimes required to remind them of your invitation. One journalist cannot attend this particular trip so it’s now time for me to ask for my colleagues advice on who they think might be a good fit as a replacement. Once follow ups have been done I then call the client to give them an update on who has RSVP’d and who has not. The client must always be kept in the loop.
2:00pm: Visual content creation. If content is king then images are the queen. Finding unique and engaging images to share on social media can be tough, so sometimes we create our own images using online tools. Cover images, profile pictures and images for posts are all required today – this is a fun task which requires lots of creativity.
2:30pm: Event prep. Tonight we have a client event taking place in Dublin. Attending the event are members of the Irish travel trade and Irish media. I begin working on table plans, only to get a phone call from a client who needs a press release to be distributed ASAP. Table plans are abandoned and the press release is distributed.
3:00pm: Losing 30 minutes now means that I’m working against the clock to finish the event prep. Luckily my colleagues have some spare time so are able to leave their work to assist me. Once table plans have been completed, name tags must then be printed, along with attendee lists.
4:30pm: AV checks. With this evening’s event starting at 5:30pm, it’s now time for me to head to the venue to make sure that all presentations and videos are running correctly. Microphones and sound levels are also tested. I then meet with the venues events manager to discuss final plans for the night and to ensure that menu and wine choices are as requested.
5:30pm: Time to welcome guests as they arrive. A drinks reception is now taking place so once every one has arrived it’s then time for me to do some networking. Networking is a very important part of what I do and there really is no room for wallflowers in this job. As the saying goes, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, so the more people you know the better! Luckily my colleagues and I are all very comfortable in this environment, thanks mostly to the fact that we host quarterly networking events.
9:00pm: Dinner and presentations are now over so you would think its home time. But no, our guests are having so much fun that we decide to head to a local pub to continue the ‘networking’. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. The festivities continue until 12:30am when it is finally time to head home.
Working in PR is varied, stressful, exciting and sociable. It’s not nine to five and can be very unpredictable but it’s very rewarding and most importantly, very fun. Learn more about what we do at TravelMedia.ie by reading this recent blog post.