A Week In The Life Of A Pr Manager At Mason Williams

A week at Mason Williams tends to be varied and fast paced, with rarely a dull moment.

It’s not necessarily a job for the shy and retiring – working in agency PR can often mean dealing with busy journalists, long hours and juggling competing deadlines while always having the aim of maximising press coverage for your clients at the forefront of your mind. A week can be a whirlwind, but it is also a lot of fun, often challenging but ultimately very rewarding!

A WEEK IN MY LIFE

Monday

7.00am: Alarm goes off, it’s time to get ready for work, but before leaving the house I always check my work emails and online news as well as Twitter.
8.30am: I hop in the car ready for my short commute to work, which gives me time to channel hop between radio stations to see how different news organisations are treating the days news. Having come into PR after 10 years as a broadcast journalist I am still a massive radio geek….
8.50am: I arrive at the office, make myself a (very strong) coffee and scan the morning papers for any news about or of interest to my clients.
9.00am: I brief my account teams on essential tasks for the day including following up on press releases, sending out products to journalists. Then on to the first job of the day – researching a venue for an upcoming launch event.
11.00am: Now time for a conference call with a client and my Account Director about their plans to shift their brand’s direction. We’ll be presenting our full strategic plan to them the following week, so after the call my Account Director and I catch up to get stuck in to some creative brainstorming.
12.30pm: After a quick check of my emails, it’s time to head to a meeting with one of our North West clients to report on all the coverage gained the previous month and the focus for the month ahead.
15.00pm Back at the office after a successful session where the client is delighted with the coverage. Time to grab a quick bite and check on emails, which have come in while I have been out of the office.
15.15pm: It’s time to work on securing journalists for a major launch event for one of our biggest clients that we’re hosting in London. I brief the team that we need 20 confirmations by the end of the day and we all hit the phones.
18.00pm: It’s off to try out a new dance class run by one of our clients, so that I can see what it’s like before I write up a press release. Slightly scared as haven’t been to a dance class since I was 8 years old…

Tuesday

6.00am I am up early as I am off to London to have back-to-back meetings with journalists. Each member of Mason Williams aims to meet with key journalists regularly to keep up to date with any changes within the industry and to find out about upcoming features.
7.00am On the train to London – precious time to catch up on emails and get ahead of myself as tomorrow I am being sent off to a conference on all things Digital in Ohio!
9.00am Arrive in London and make a dash for the tube to get to Roast at Borough Market for my first breakfast meeting with a new beauty journalist to discuss one of our client’s upcoming product launches. It’s the first time we have met and we get on really well – at one point we end up on the subject of past boyfriends – but also I find out what features the magazine has planned and explain three products which would be a perfect fit.
11.00am Time to rush across town to a weekly women’s magazine, my journalist is on an unexpected deadline so I have to talk fast, she tells me about plans they have to change some of the regular features and I promise to send over a contact I have that would be perfect for a story she is working on the following week.
12.00pm I grab a sandwich on the way to meet my next journalist who is conveniently based around the corner, so I walk and call back to the office at the same time to catch up with the team.
14.00pm My third meeting of the day is with the Editor of Bella magazine, I know she is incredibly busy – so I get straight to the point and explain what our client has coming up over the next few months, she thinks there are a few ways we could work together and I leave her with some products that she can try out in her own time.
14.30pm Head back to the office for a catch up with my MD, ahead of my trip to America.
17.30pm Back to the hotel to go straight to bed – before 7am flight!

Wednesday

07.00am On the flight I flesh out ideas to create engaging content for a client’s social networking accounts.
19.35pm I arrive in Boston, and am excited despite being slightly out of kilter with the time difference. I head to the hotel and have time to read through the conference planning notes. The conference which is focusing on Digital is run by IPREX which is a network of international PR agencies, of which Mason Williams is the consumer UK agency. We will be sharing ideas on content strategy, B2B communication, social media in a crisis and measurement. We were asked to make a video before the start of the conference to explain what we were looking forward to: here’s the one I shot myself in my hotel room….(Video is on Youtube on the following linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjjfw6Qf2qs )

Thursday

09.00am I have a free day to explore snowy Boston before meeting up with the other delegates for dinner. I hop on an ‘Old Town Trolley’ for a narrated tour of the some of Boston’s most historic sites, including the Freedom Trail.
18.00pm Back at the hotel to meet the other delegates for a short stroll across the street to dinner at a fabulous restaurant called ‘Legal Harborside’. During dinner the Head of Communications from Harvard University gives a fascinating talk about his experiences in communications.

Friday

9:00am Our first discussion is on Content Strategy and we have a speaker from Hubspot, an American based inbound marketing software platform.
After lunch we had a lecture, called Metrics and Analytics, I had thought it might be a little dull, but it turned out to be one of the most useful sessions and discussions of the whole conference. The speaker who led the discussions was Katie Delahaye Paine, the author of Measuring Public Relationships on the strategic role of measurement in digital.
We also had a discussion on Social Media in B2B communication
from Paul Gillin, business consultant and author of four books including Attack of the Customers and Social Marketing to the Business Customer.

Saturday

9.00am The mornings session was Social Media In A Crisis and was focusing on the Boston Marathon bombings. One speaker had headed up the PR for Massachusetts General Hospital on the day of the bombings and also speaking was a reporter who was working on the day.
The speakers spoke from the heart and at times it was clear people in the room were almost moved to tears, and we were told first hand about the fact the handling of the hospital’s PR channels on the day of the bombings had ultimately helped to inform and calm the public.
13.00pm Conference closed. After only a short time with the other delegates we had really bonded and I had a pile of cards to take back to the office.
Admittedly I don’t fly to America every week but this week is a true reflection of how action packed and exciting a week at Mason Williams can be!

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