When I talk with family and friends about my career, I often get asked, “So what do you actually do?” Typically, I’ll respond with what has become a well-rehearsed quick answer, explaining how we partner with clients to promote and maintain their brand reputation while increasing their brand’s awareness. In most cases, they nod approvingly despite not understanding just how demanding it can be to be public relations professional on a day-to-day basis – because at BAERING we do everything.
No day is ever the same at BAERING, which is certainly nothing to complain about! One day we can be handling media relations for three different clients in different markets, the next day we can be writing creative content for a new branding initiative and potential new client, and on Friday we could be working with the video team to oversee the filming of an ad. We have our hands in everything communications. To some, unpredictability causes inconsistency, difficulty, and overall fear, but as PR professionals we find this to be the driving force behind our growth as communicators. In this world, we are the creators of perception, interpreters of branding stories and masters at finding order in the communications chaos. At BAERING, we’re an idea-driven, full-service, strategic communications and brand management firm, which means my workday is never boring.
But what can the day of a PR professional really look like?
- You wake up to your third alarm and immediately check your email.
- You read the 17+ morning newsletters you’ve signed up for to keep up with your clients’ industries.
- Any early morning reporter requests that fit your clients? Yep, at least one. You quickly rattle off a pitch and hit send.
- While still lying in bed, waking up with the glow of your iPhone screen, you scan social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Oh look, your client’s blog post was shared 22 times overnight. Mark one in the “win” category for the day.
- You shower, dress and grab coffee. Then you’re out the door to the office.
- While in traffic, your phone pings five times. Emails have started flying in.
- Internal meeting No. 1, internal meeting No. 2, internal meeting No. 3 – check, check and check. Good thing your weekly reports are always open on your desktop. They may as well be your screen background now. You double check that your team is set with the deliverables and due dates. You set calendar reminders and jot them down in your planner, or sticky note, or anything else close by.
- Scratch that – two due dates got moved to tomorrow. You better regroup with the team.
- Next up, the ad you and the creative team have been working on received feedback from the client. Feedback as follow: “We love it, but can we incorporate the color orange?” As you deal with your conflicting feelings of success and confusion, you set up a call with the client and the creative lead.
- Mid-morning: You finally have some time to sit at your desk. Let’s focus on the messaging for the upcoming video you’re shooting next week.
- You look up and realize an hour has already gone by. You have to dial in to a conference call to discuss potential branding strategy for a client’s acquisition of a company.
- Wrong meeting code. You try again. Have you had coffee this morning? Yes – two cups.
- It’s lunchtime, and you finally have a few minutes to scarf down your salad (or bagel), draft a few emails and check your personal social media.
- Oh no, breaking news and it has the potential to affect your client. You need to advise them on potentially implementing your contingency plan. Thank heavens you always have a blazer in the office.
- You fly off to your client’s office and meet with them for the remainder of the day.
- Answer emails and texts from your phone while waiting for the media inquiries to fly in. That portable charger really comes in handy. Thanks Amazon Prime!
You draft a holding statement quickly and have the client’s legal team review. Sent to the first three interview requests.
- Back in the office, the team is on alert to keep an eye out for social media chatter. You’re getting reports every 10 mins. So far, things are calm. Your contingency plan is working.
- After a final 2 hour wrap-up meeting with the client and a recap sent to the entire team, it’s back to your car to battle the traffic home.
- Home, finally. You deal with the daily fight between having a glass of wine and working out, oh and clean up whatever mess your dog made. Glass of wine wins tonight.
- You catch up on your favorite shows and check emails and your calendar one last time to make sure you know what’s in store for tomorrow. Just as your shows come to a close you remember that Business Insider article you read last week that suggests turning off all electronics an hour before bedtime… maybe tomorrow.
- Catch as many Z’s as you can and do it all over again!