Whenever people ask me what I do, I typically say something like “I do half PR and half marketing for an advertising agency in downtown Houston.” That response will spark the interest of the person that asks to want to know more. What companies do I work with, Whats the name of the agency or even, What is PR anyway? Once these questions start to roll out, I have to go into a little more specifics. I then say “I do 25% PR and 100% influencer marketing (which means I basically pitch influencers and have them promote a product of one of our clients and we pay them thousands of dollars to do so.)
But with the simplicity of one response comes a ton of hard work, dedication and almost sleepless nights.
Working with brands is a very rewarding job. You get to negotiate contracts and rates with various prospects and then bring them back to your company to divide and conquer the scopes of work. The beauty of talking to big, corporate names in fortune 500 companies and knowing that you have landed accounts with them is a very powerful statement that you get to place in the summary of your Linkedin profile. But what about the work itself? The media pitching, reporting and analysis, the long hours because the client you are in communication with is 3 hours behind, due to their constant traveling from office to office, meeting to meeting.
I was encouraged today to write my very first post after a 6-month drought. I have been working, traveling and really trying to find my footing in the marketing and PR industry. There have been long, 10-12 hour days that aren’t being logged because I’m just trying to make a deadline, emails sent to the wrong person because I accidentally clicked send too fast and forgetting to send a gift package to a holiday giveaway winner of one of our influencers (that was fun).
With all being said, Im going to provide 5 things that I don’t do:
- Wear business professional (or even business casual) attire : At my agency, you will find several of my colleagues in jeans (some times with holes in them), hoodies and mule shoes. Sometimes, you may even find someone walking around the building with a blanket 🙂 We are allowed to dress comfortably unless we have a client meeting/presentation.
- Have brunch with influencers/ celebrities: We rarely ever meet the influencers we work with face-to-face. All of our communication with them is either over the phone or through email.
- Scroll around on Instagram: Social media is a big part of the job, but there’s only a percentage of our energy going towards “scrolling”. See ‘Things I do” # 1.
- Go to events and drink cocktails: When I go to an event, I am going for work. The second I step foot into the door I am either networking, making sure that the client we are with is well-prepped or I am selling the company. Most of the time if there is food, we wont eat until the end of the event (being there’s any food left at all).
- Crisis Management: This is mainly for the PR side. As much as I wanted to work in crisis management, we do more damage control, pitching journalists for news coverage and landing client interviews to talk about the brand. If there were crises all of the time, I may be out of a job.
Things I do:
- Check Youtube, blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest analytics that get placed on this massive spreadsheet made of nothing but numbers and links. In order to show our proof of performance, we have to have, well…proof. Why is the client paying us? What results are we bringing? In order to provide this information to the client, we have to collect it. Every last bit of it.
- Respond to emails This is one of the main things that we do. We are in constant communication with the influencer or with the client. With all of the questions and problems that arise when working with people and online platforms, escaping the email is inevitable. Sometimes, I will have a list of tasks I need to complete by EOD but can’t due to the amount of emails coming in, simply fixing people’s problems.
- Meetings/ Creative brainstorms I have meetings several times a week discussing new ideas on upcoming campaigns, even campaigns Im not a part of in order to move the project along. Creative brainstorms will consist of 2-3 people in one department, 10 -12 people across multiple departments, or 3-5 agencies and brands across multiple industries. It just all depends.
- SHIPPING We have packages being shipped from our office everyday. With all the influencers we work with, we are either creating giveaway boxes with the cute gift wrap and crinkle, or shipping product to influencers as they prepare for the next campaign.
- Respond to emails, Did I mention responding to emails? See #2
There is such a large misconception behind what people in the marketing and PR industry do, so i thought this would be a fun way to explain it in a bit more detail!