Skip to Main Content

A Day in the Life: Public Relations Manager for a Corporation

5:30 a.m.: Get up and have a decent breakfast and coffee. I put in long days and when I skip a meal, especially at the start of the day, my work suffers. I multitask throughout breakfast: Check e-mails, scan RSS feeds and various news sites for headlines, looking in particular for mention of the corporation and its competitors, etc.

6:45 a.m.: Train ride to work. Make good use of the time by continuing to review e-mails via smartphone during the ride. Reply briefly only to those that are most pressing. I’ll follow up more thoroughly later from the laptop, if needed. Check calendar and to-do list for the day.

7:45 a.m.: Phone conference meeting with sponsorship partner in London. We’re working on a promotion campaign for the release of a new product and we’re at the stage of fine-tuning the copy for the social media aspects.

9:00 a.m.: Back to reviewing e-mails and checking social media networks—Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Respond directly myself or forward the messages to the appropriate staff member for handling.

9:30 a.m.: Meet with immediate staff to review work in progress, hash out what’s next up for the week and on the immediate horizon, and review anything else on the agenda. A team assistant takes notes throughout; for each project we discuss, we set tasks and “accomplish by” dates, with each task matched to the appropriate staffer. Clear direction and accountability keeps everyone motivated, including me. I’m on the tasks list also.

10:15 a.m.: Back to my desk and I continue working on a press release I’d started to write the day before. I field phone calls and e-mails throughout. There’s rarely a moment when I can focus my full attention on one thing and one thing only, but that’s how it goes. Over the years I’ve mastered the art of juggling and prioritizing work.

12:00 p.m.: Head out to press conference to announce a new corporate initiative we’re launching before the end of the year. I make sure I have my notes with me—have to be prepared to field questions from the media. They can be tricky.

1:30 p.m.: Back to the office, and to a working lunch meeting with senior management to review survey results of a recent PR campaign.

3:30 p.m.: Finish writing that press release. Send it to assistant for proofreading. Make any edits, if needed, then send to legal for approval. (Once they green-light it, I’ll e-mail the release to a media distribution service that we use.) I then start to do some research for an article I’m writing for our quarterly internal newsletter.

4:00 p.m.: Skype meeting with a manager in our Dublin office. They’re in crisis mode because a celebrity that was scheduled to appear at one of their major events next week cancelled due to a medical emergency. We discuss plan B and the various steps he needs to take immediately. I tell him to call or e-mail me as soon as he resolves this, regardless of what time it is.

4:30 p.m.: Meet with assistant to discuss projects and tasks he’s been assigned and the status of things, and also to review my calendar for the next few weeks. There’s a conference I’ll need to go to in London and also an event in Spain the following month. We discuss my travel dates. He’ll start to research flights and hotels, and get back to me with the options.

5:00 p.m.: Clear up more e-mails, and set up my to-do list for the next day. Return phone calls to vendors and suppliers. I usually reserve some time either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day for this.

6:30 p.m.: I call it a day. No dinner meeting or event tonight, for a change. I keep the phone on during the train ride home and continue checking e-mails. Sometimes I’ll power it down and take a breather, but this time I want to be sure I don’t miss Dublin’s message in case it comes in.

8:00 p.m.: Am in the middle of dinner when the manager in the Dublin office calls. He was able to secure another celebrity who’s in town filming a movie. We got lucky on this one but it was too close a call. In the future we’ve got to establish backup plans to prevent this type of last-minute scrambling. I make a note of this to discuss with the staff at the next meeting.