Next up in our miniseries looking at the day to day life of some of our wonderful team members is Amy, our Head of PR and Content.
Job title: Head of PR and Content.
Describe the main responsibilities of your role:
The main responsibilities of my role are to manage all content and PR output for Extreme itself and of course, for all of our clients. That means both generating the words and deciding when and where to use them! This can be anything from blogs and emails, through to tone of voice (as part of brand development) and complete communications strategies which factor in content across all relevant touchpoints. On top of that, as a ‘Head of Department’ I am required to manage my team, helping to plan workloads, assign responsibilities, report on performance and ensure they are happy and feel equipped to do their (amazing) work.
The short of it is, I get to play around with words all the time, which is my absolute favourite thing to do!
What’s your morning routine before work?
I have two kids so it’s always an early start. Alarm (if I get that far!) at 6.20, then we have an hour to do breakfast, shower, get ready for school before we leave. I drop the kids at the childminder then usually have a very loud, very musical drive to work! I love a good car sing-song, it always makes me happy and means I usually arrive to work ready to get on with the day.
What’s the first thing you do when you start your working day?
I always do emails first, so I’ll clear my inbox while transferring anything that needs action to my to-do list. I love tools like Asana for deadlines and visibility, but nothing beats a written list for me! Then, coffee before tackling the first task.
How do you prioritise what you have on for the day?
Because my team and I work across PR and content, days can be a mix of firm deadlines and last minute requests. It’s important we work in a timely fashion if we have a press deadline, such as an editorial, but similarly, we must be flexible enough to respond to a comment opportunity if we find one that meets a client objective. With that in mind, I check my calendar, Asana and my to-do list and make sure I know which things must be done that day, versus what can be moved should a client call or meeting derail my plans! I tend to review what my team has on too, to make sure I have a feel for all of the priorities over the coming days.
Today I am working on…..
Today is mostly about a new client win, so it’s a busy month getting the content prepped and sourcing relevant opportunities. I am also looking at the month ahead for Extreme’s own marketing to make sure we practice what we preach. For me, that means working out what content we have for our blog and progressing with some forthcoming PR opportunities.
I also have two meetings, one to review a potential new branding project (something I really love working on) for which I would handle the tone of voice element and another top secret potential new business meeting which has the potential to be something really fun to work on!
“I’d love to write content about books, reading and the arts, so maybe a strategy for a literature festival or independent bookshop! That or pop culture - I love music and cult TV shows, so anything to do with that!”
Best part of your job:
It’s a mix of the people I work with (I know, I know - but it’s true) and the opportunities I get to write things. Not all content work is exciting or groundbreaking, but when you take something a client has been struggling with and transform it into something that works for them and plays a role in delivering results, it can be pretty amazing. I love words, I always have and the fact I get to write things every day is something I try not to take for granted!
Biggest challenge in your role:
For me, I think the biggest challenge comes in the form of learning how to be a manager. I love people, but at heart I am a creative person, not a forms, procedures and management person! I have had to work hard to engage my brain in the commerciality of the business, learning to analyse performance, resources and results. I know how crucial all these things are, but numbers are not my strong point! It’s a work in progress. Luckily for me though, I manage two incredibly talented, self-starters whose expertise is already incredible and growing by the day, so they make it all a lot easier on me.
One thing you do at the end of the day:
I try to make sure I have my list for the next day ready to go. I respond to any unanswered emails so I have a clean slate (or as close as possible) for the next day.
Advice for anyone wanting to get started in your specialism:
Practice! If content is something you love and want to work on, then write, a lot! If you want to play sport, you practice, and writing is no different. If you’re really keen on breaking into the industry, be ready to show prospective employers diverse examples of work. Write for yourself, write for others and show (wherever possible) that you understand how to change tone and style to suit varied audiences.
Finally, I think it’s important to be realistic….not all content will be exciting! Expect to take the great jobs with the not-so-great and see each piece as an opportunity to make something better!
In need of a knockout PR plan or some strategic content?
Amy joined in 2014 to set up our PR department. She now heads up a growing PR and Content team, utilising over 13 years’ experience to deliver brand awareness through targeted, multi-channel copy. As well as engaging content for websites and blogs, Amy delivers PR strategies and tone of voice exploration, helping clients to communicate the purpose and values of their brand with maximum impact.