A Day in PR: Captain’s Log

By Jackie Fraser

Public relations is a fast-moving, constantly-changing industry. Those of us in the trenches are often asked what we do every day – and those asking are usually surprised to see us struggle to provide an answer. How do you answer this question when every moment of every day is different? With a handful of clients in a handful of varying industries with a handful of varying needs, the life of a PR pro changes hour to hour, day to day and person to person.

So, we’re breaking it down. Below – a Captain’s Log for a day in the life of a media maven at Matter.

  • 7:00am: Read and/or listen to the day’s news while in transit to the office – prepare for and brainstorm on any potential conflicts or opportunities for my clients

  • 8:00am: Arrive in beautiful Newburyport, head to local coffee spot Soufflés for the day’s first pick-me-up, and pet as many dogs as possible on the way

  • 8:30am: Sit down at my desk and start sifting through the mountain of email newsletters containing, again, news pertinent to me and my clients

  • 9:00am: Start pitching! With the news fresh in my mind and inspiration striking, I hit up the mailboxes of relevant journalists hoping to pique their interest in my clients’ insights, news, products, etc. I also take time to add reporters to my media lists and keep things fresh

  • 11:00am: Get to writing – sometimes it’s a byline article, sometimes it’s a blog post, and sometimes it’s a press release (and sometimes it’s all three)

  • 1pm: Time to eat. I’ll either treat myself to a nice walk and yummy meal out, or eat my leftovers in the kitchen with my coworkers

  • 2pm: Now I turn my attention to other aspects of my client’s marcom activities, such as social media and reporting on key metrics (such as share of voice)

  • 4pm: Move! Around this time, depending on the day, you can find me heading to yoga, barre or out for a run with my colleagues (or maybe just happy hour)

  • 5:30: Wrap-up the day – get out my last few emails and, with any luck, successfully check off my to-do list

Interspersed throughout the day are meetings – lots of them. Whether they’re what we call internals (time to chat as a team through account priorities and action items) or external client calls, you can count on at least four of them a day. If your schedule turns out to be clear, it’s a welcomed miracle and the time is well-spent ramping up all that research, media outreach and content creation.

Now that you have the long-winded answer, we can break it all down even further using McKenzie Mayer’s three-bucket theory: PR consists of equal parts admin, media outreach and content creation. Admin is checking and responding to email, meetings and calls, to-do lists, planning, reporting and all the other things that keep accounts afloat. Media outreach is time spent researching and pitching reporters, responding to inquiries and scheduling and staffing briefings. Content encompasses drafting quotes, Q&As, blogs, bylined articles, case studies, ebooks and other writing projects.

In short, ninety percent of our days fit in those three buckets. If we’re lucky, the rest is ping-pong, mentorship and peacefully staring into the middle distance.

Interested? We’d love to have you! Check out our careers page for more information.