Public relations consulting in the digital age is a quiet business. As a solo marketing PR practitioner working from a home office, I’m no longer distracted by colleagues dropping by my "cube unannounced, by an endless queue of meetings, or surprise phone calls from clients or journalists. And, unless one streams the hits all day, the only high-decibel intrusions are the seemingly endless parade of gardeners along the block or my dog’s insistence on her after-lunch walk.
But while the day may be audibly hushed, it doesn’t mean the workflow has ebbed. Quite the opposite, in fact. The day begins with a review, and deletion, of several hundred emails, too many from the likes of the "uK Lotto Organization," "As Seen on TV" or "Barclays Bank Plc, London," followed by a scan of the day’s top marketing news (plus adding columns to Instapaper for later reading) and continues with the regular pinging of newly arrived missives from a wide array of marketing publications, clients, editors, and, sadly, more spammers.
To get the feel of a day in the life of a PR pro who specializes in representing marketing services companies (those who help build leading brands), let’s review a typical Monday. Following a prioritizing of the incoming, I check Google alerts for client news, copy links, prepare PDFs of published articles, push them through social media, forward to the involved client, and file, i.e. “You’re loyal, Blues fans, a Scoring Systems Says So” (Fox Sports for client Brand Keys’ NHL Sports Fans Loyalty Index).
Next up, editing several news releases and column abstracts for distribution today. The first in the queue, the results of Brand Keys' annual Father’s Day spending forecast — good news for dads with sales to rise seven percent — formatting, loading into MaxBulk Mailer, sending/proofing a test email and, yes, blasting the news to a proprietary list of retail-related publications.
Digital PR offers almost instant gratification over the old copy/post/mail PR days. Here’s a response received 15 minutes after releasing…. “Hey Len, I'll do something on this today. Not that I expect anything for Father's Day though I did find an old Omega watch among my wife's old family tchotchkas.”
That’s followed by a review of a new business proposal from a marketing colleague to which I have contributed insights, and a review of several potential columns he would like to develop "focusing on obstacles facing early-stage tech companies.”
Then there are the random client requests, such as….
Attached you'll find a new headshot I'd like to use — any chance we could get the old one replaced from some of our publications?
I reply, publications are too short-staffed to harass with such requests. We’ll use this photo going forward.
and the sometimes cryptic editorial questions…
I’m the new assistant editor at (publication) editing the paper by your client entitled "There's more to engagement than we know: Adding the unconscious." To this end I have one query regarding the text
At the top of page 6, paragraph beginning "Simply stunning ...," sentence beginning "But it was seen as .... (Won't Work, Too Complicated ..." -- should "Won't Work, Too Complicated" be deleted as these were not found to be so by the respondent?
I have to agree with the sharp-eyed editor here.
So now it’s time for lunch, the dog walk… and rinse and repeat till closing time.