Approach PR Suzanne Watson

A day in the life of Suzanne Watson

I’ve always said PR is the best job in the world – we get to see so many different aspects of so many different businesses. There’s not many professions where you can be talking chemicals one minute, chocolate the next, moving onto stairlifts, air conditioning, kitchen design and then being interviewed for the local news. Throw in being a charity trustee, a school governor, vice president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, mum of two teenagers and the owner of a GIANT dog… it’s safe to say there is never, ever a dull moment.

6am

Always woken by Radio 2 – I’m a sucker for the snooze button. I don’t really need to be up until 6.15 but for some reason it feels a luxury to wake earlier and then drop off again. I know. Madness.

6.30am

We rotate who takes Connie, our Giant Schnauzer, out on the moors first thing in the morning. Because she’s a bit of a beast, she does need two really good walks a day and who does it depends on who needs to be where and by what time. At this time of the year it’s an incredible way to start the day, get the heart pumping and just be alone with my ‘to do’ list. Winter, it’s not so great…

8am

I like to be in the office first if I can as the number of emails we send and receive is crazy and it feels good to get the key correspondence done before starting on the to do list. After 23 years of long car journeys to work I do now have the gift of no commute, living just five minutes from the office in Ilkley and use the time I used to travel to plan and get ahead.

9am

By now everyone is in, coffees are made and I love my perspective of the team from my new desk in our refurbished office. BBC News in on the big TV, the radio is on and the papers are in and distributed. It really is a lovely vibe and with views out onto Ilkley Moor (to me) there really is no better place to work.

9.40am

The morning ‘spring’ is done and everyone knows their priorities. I start with a call with one of our newest clients for sign off on the latest media campaign images we’ve commissioned and then at 10am I’m into a planning meeting for a new social media account we’re taking over. Tasks are delegated for auditing audiences, competitors, industry issues and the start of formulating the strategy is underway.

10.30am

Into the car to head across to Bradford for a planning session at Bradford Chamber. I meet the Chief Exec Sandy Needham and President Nick Garthwaite at Chamber HQ in the heart of Little Germany to discuss priorities for the month ahead. Then it’s onto the Chamber Leadership Group – a monthly meeting of local business leaders. As the voice of commerce it’s vital we meet regularly to inform, discuss and work together to influence local policy and issues of significance to business.

3pm

I’m back at Approach to host a group of six Year 8 Ilkley Grammar School pupils with their teacher. They’re shortlisted in a national initiative for an app they’re developing to showcase the hidden gems of Ilkley. We understand the importance of getting students into a real-work situation and are happy to help guide their thoughts on marketing the idea. They really got into the discussions and we were blown away by their maturity, their energy and their creativity. A real credit to the school.

4.30pm

Back at my desk to catch up on emails, speak with the team and fuelled by my final cuppa, get to work on a press release to launch a new training package to help people caring for those with Epilepsy. I started my career as a journalist and while running the business, meetings, brainstorming, budgeting, planning and networking are all huge parts of my role, I still get immense satisfaction taking a client’s brief and telling a story through a press release.

6pm

I do a last sweep of the office to make sure everything is switched off. I’m quietly thankful there’s no networking or events this evening. Just back home for tea and to find out how Ben’s GCSEs have gone today, how Melissa’s travel planning is panning out and to help Col get ready for his trip to watch England in the Nations League in Portugal.

And then it’s back out onto the Moors with Connie and hopefully, if I time it right, an evening fix of Grey’s Anatomy – we’re only up to season 5 but after another day like today, it’s great switch-off TV.