We’ve looked at what interns, account execs, account managers and PR directors are up to, but what about freelance consultants? Michele Bayliss and Jane Dean share the tasks that fill their days.
Michele Bayliss, PR consultant, Michele Bayliss PR
Michele Bayliss is a PR consultant with more than 20 years’ experience. She has worked from her home office based in Lewes since becoming a self-employed consultant in the 1990’s.
7.30am: I listen to the Today programme while checking the news online. I see that a story has broken which begs a response from one of my clients. I work directly with entrepreneurs and CEOs which means that we can get comment agreed and issued quickly. I make a cup of tea and head to my desk. I work from my home-based office in Lewes so the ‘commute’ takes me minutes. A card above my desk reads ‘when you work from home you only have to sound dressed by 9.30 in the morning’.
8.30am: Sounding dressed, I pick up the phone to my client who has just texted me. We work on our response. I get on with checking emails and react to anything else that is pressing. I set up a media interview yesterday so I liaise between the journalist and my client to finalise the time and discuss talking points so that my client is prepped.
9.00am: I revisit an op-ed I am working on. I make some minor edits and send it on to the client for approval. I’m also expecting to see some coverage in The Guardian today so take a quick look – it’s appeared.
10.00am: The phone rings. A journalist needs a quick comment to include in their lunchtime news bulletin. I get on the phone to my client and work something up based on call and send on to meet the 11.00am deadline.
11.10am: Now dressed, I need to dash to catch a train to London for a 12.30 briefing with my client and a Telegraph journalist at their offices in Victoria – perfect for me coming in from Lewes. I can work on the train too.
1.30pm: My client and I have a post-briefing to discuss next steps as a follow-up. The Telegraph journalist is planning on writing a story for the weekend and needs our help with case studies.
2.30pm: Back on the train I work to line up the necessary case studies. I also get a call from my client who wants a catch-up call before she goes on holiday.
4.00pm: Back at my desk I check my emails. I see that the op-ed has been approved so I forward on to the media outlet along with a photo.
4.30pm: I host a media interview over Skype and follow up after the call with some facts and stats that might help the journalist.
5.45pm: I might just make a 6.00pm step class
Jane Dean, PR consultant, Jane Dean PR
6.00am: I awake naturally at 6am, grab my mobile phone and scroll through news feeds.
7.00am: After I’ve checked e-mails and FB press forums (which have been an incredible source of information), I then fire up my PC.
8.00am: I’ve generally replied to a number of priority emails by now, plus responded to posts on social media and put the kettle on.
9.30am: I check my Google calendar to see what meetings I’ve set up, which can be with current and new clients, plus journalists or even an elusive editor, if I’m lucky!)
10.30am: I try to regularly post to my social media page and those that I manage. I’ve recently worked with Ch.5 and BBC Radio as I’ve represented Jane McDonald and am currently working with Gwen Dickey (aka Rose Royce). Tune in to Pop Master!
12.00pm: If I haven’t polished off a bowl of Special K by now, then it’s a pit-stop for a milky coffee and digestive.
1.00pm: Many hours will be spent collating biogs, drawing up press releases and sourcing high res images. I try not to hassle journo’s with phonecalls but seek original angles to secure coverage.
4.00pm: ResponseSource has been an incredible forum to engage with press/media and I constantly check the feed.
6.00pm By now, I’ve usually been chained to my laptop for 8 hours or more, so the eyes are straining (drink more!). Cook dinner!
7.00pm I review touring productions and shows, so I can often be found at one of my local theatres watching the likes of Gladys Knight, Paloma Faith or Hairspray (nice). My review blog is here.
11.30pm Another glance at my phone before bed! Being freelance, my job is 24/7 but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Are you also a freelance PR? Share your day with us below.