A day in the life of Shona England – Lees

When I tell people that I work in PR they often ask ‘so, what do you do, like day-to-day?’… it’s almost an impossible question to answer, because every day is so incredibly different. There’s the bread and butter – copy writing and media relations – but PR is often so much more than that. We are our clients’ go-to for communications advice and a journalist’s go-to for expert comment. Not to mention, a sounding board for creative ideas, campaigns and proposals that our colleagues think up. So, in an attempt to explain the world of a senior account executive, here’s a look into my world:

8:25

My day usually starts by hopping on a train from Shipley over to Ilkley, sometimes swinging by M&S to buy the Telegraph & Argus or Café Nero for a caffeine hit – both essentials for a West Yorkshire PR agency!

8:50

Getting to the office, I check my emails, client social media channels and write a to do list. The team then gets together for a ‘spring’, where we all outline our priorities for the day. We also divvy up the newspapers between us and have a read of the day’s news, it’s key for us to flag any client coverage or articles of interest. As a big advocate for Bradford, I’m always keen to know what’s going on in the district, too.

9:30

My first job is to take a look at the latest press release for Bradford Manufacturing Weeks (or BMW to us…), which outlines its recent launch event. The initiative is really successful, and generally, the press and public respond well to news about what’s coming up for the October event. After drafting the press release, I pass it on for internal sign off before sending it over to the client for approval.

11:30

Whilst my brain is in BMW mode, I take a look at the blog and social planners that we created at the start of the campaign. This ensures that everything is on track. The social media accounts get a lot of engagement, so I keep an eye on them throughout the day. Today I respond to a post from The Manufacturer magazine about the sector’s skills gap, which results in some great engagement.

12:15

Lunch is usually something quick from the Co-op or M&S, but today I was good and brought some leftovers in from home. An achievement for me!

1:00

Once I’m refuelled, I head out to a new business meeting with a potential client that has never had PR before. They’re looking for some advice and to see whether we could help them to meet their business objectives. After the meeting I send them a follow up email to ensure we’re on the same page and some ideas around costs.

2:00

A backlink audit for a manufacturing client is the next task on my list. Using an SEO tool called AH Refs, we can identify exactly where their competitors are getting backlinks and work out where there are gaps in our client’s backlink portfolio. Backlinks (places that link to the website) indicate to Google that the site is trustworthy and worth visiting. Therefore, Google nudges it up the search rankings. Ensuring that our client has a healthy backlink portfolio will improve their organic search ranking and increase traffic to the website.

4:30

My last job is to start working on a six month PR planner for a new client. In order to pull these together we gather information about upcoming events, key dates, and things to be aware of. Keeping our PR strategy and the client’s key messages in mind, we also outline our monthly activity. This could be a press release for trade or regional press or a specific feature that we have identified from our conversations with journalists. Having a planner in place means that everyone is on the same page. We can also see what activity is coming up, making it easier to plan and resource accordingly.

5:15

It’s another gorgeous sunny day. As much as I love the view of Ilkley Moor from my desk, I hop on the train home to enjoy a cold drink in the garden, ready to do it all again tomorrow!