A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS EXECUTIVE

Becky Moles

Ever thought about working in public relations/public affairs? Wondered what you’d been doing day to day in an agency? For a start you need to live and breathe politics and news…

A PR’s day starts early

6.30am – Wake up and check your emails before you’ve lifted your head off the pillow, to see if any of your clients have been mentioned in the papers.

6.35am – Switch on Radio 4’s ‘Today Programme’.

8am – Arrive at the office, wolf down a bowl of cereal while digesting the day’s news.

8.30am – Email articles/news of potential interest to your clients across to them, so it’s in their inbox by the time they get to their desk.

Communications consultants devour the tabloids and broadsheets daily

9am – Spot an interesting education article in one of the broadsheets. Write a piece to submit to the letters page of the next day’s edition, putting forward the view of Client A, a school.

10am – Receive a press enquiry about Client B. The journalist wants to write a negative piece about them and has a deadline of 12pm. You create a statement putting forward the view of your client, and send it to the client for approval.

10.30am – A weird and wonderful brief comes in – a potential new client wanting to start a campaign to prevent penguins being kept in captivity in the UK. You spend an hour trying to find out which MPs like penguins (Diane Abbot MP proposed an Early Day Motion showing concern over the plight of penguins living in Antarctica) or have talked about penguins in parliament (Jeremy Corbyn has mentioned penguins the most times out of any current sitting MP). You then move on to see which politicians are on animal welfare committees or relevant All Party Parliamentary Groups (perhaps the All Party Group for the Polar Regions?)

11.50am – Client B would like some additional information included in the statement you proposed. You go back to the drawing board with nine minutes to go.

12.00pm – Agree the new statement with your client, and meet the journalist’s deadline.

1.30pm – Realise you haven’t eaten. Run across the road to grab Pret or sushi.

Attending political events is key to being in the know

3pm – A Health Select Committee session starts, which is examining children and mental health – relevant to Client C, a mental health charity. Watch Select Committee, furiously trying to type a verbatim account, while also advising the client.

4pm – The work of Client C in supporting children with mental health issues isn’t mentioned, so you begin to write a letter to the Select Committee members, informing them of the great work that’s going on (particularly a great service located in their constituency…)

5pm – Get a positive email back from a journalist. They love an op-ed piece you’ve proposed to them, which will feature the Chief Executive of Client D. Squeal with delight. Get drafting.

7.30pm – After work, go to a political drinks event – a chance to mingle and network. Circulate the room, sharing views on who will win the election. The overwhelming view is always ‘who knows’.

8.30 – Dinner of ‘nibbles’ and a glass of red while listening to a minister speak.

News in all forms is a constant part of a PR’s life

10.30pm – Get home and catch the start of Newsnight. Then decide you’ve had enough politics and current affairs for one day.

11pm – Fall asleep with Kindle in hand.

*Clients and scenarios have been changed.

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