A day in the life of a… Senior Digital PR & Outreach Specialist

Name: James Brown

So, what do you do?
I'm a Senior Digital PR & Outreach Specialist, so I try to gain my clients lots of lovely coverage, hopefully with a link back to the client, as that's where we get the SEO value. The way I look at it is that we're the culmination of the work done by the Content & Engagement team. The strategists (with our input) have dreamed up the campaigns, the content and creative teams have created the eye-catching content - now it's our job to market it. So, if a campaign fails, you can blame us…but we'll take the credit if it does well!

What's on the agenda for today?

07h15: Wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across my head…

09h00: The first thing I like to do is check my emails and check my campaigns on the web. The dream scenario is that a lot of journalists have replied to my emails and we've got some coverage live. And, having read the news today, oh boy, today seems to be one of them!

09h30: We have a daily stand-up meeting for one of our clients. Sadly, it's not a chance for me to make comedy observations about the workplace, but to discuss all the different moving parts on one of our biggest clients. Today's is a positive one, as I get to report some coverage (see above)! Then I make porridge. Which I tend to spill everywhere.

11h00: I'll probably find my way to the downstairs kitchen and grab a Coke. If the day is going well, I'm getting stuck into pitching to journalists by now. I've normally got 4-5 campaigns on the go at once, so there's always plenty to be doing.

13h00: Time for lunch. This week I'm going to make sure I enjoy as much of the sunshine as possible, and will read my book. At the moment, I'm reading World Without End, a 1,200-page novel about life in medieval Britain. In those days, a 'link' was part of a chain and market traders had laughable content strategies. Simpler times.

14h00: Brainstorm time! We have to write proposals for some upcoming campaigns. I'll be representing the Outreach team in the meeting and will contribute ideas and recommendations for a good PR campaign. In theory, every campaign starts out perfect in your head, but then budgets and time constraints usually mean you need to compromise. The skill is to still find the happy medium and, if I'm a lucky man, one will make the grade!

16h00: I find my way upstairs to sit in the social space with my laptop and have another Coke. I've still got more emails to send! I'll follow up with some people I contacted last week to secure some coverage - I'd say most of my leads come through these follow-ups; journalists are busy people and often don't see your email until the second or third time of asking.

17h00: Now's a good time to get some admin jobs done. I'll follow-up on any flagged emails, repeat requests to clients for any assets that journalists have asked for, and update my coverage spreadsheets. Then I can find my coat and grab my hat (I'm trying to wear hats more) and take the train back to my flat.

What's the best thing about your job?

The sheer adrenaline rush when you get a link, and you find it's do-follow. Get in! Better than scoring at Wembley. I imagine.

What's for lunch?

A Korean burrito from Kerb, with McDonalds chips and a Coke. Unconventional, sure.

How did you get started in digital marketing?

I was headhunted… sort of! Little Shaun, a colleague from my last job (at Gorkana, a PR services agency) had moved here and got in touch a few months later, asking if I was interested in moving across. I was, and I did!

Plans this evening?

I'm playing football. Greenlight hires us a pitch every Thursday - the standard is mixed, but my calm presence and cat-like reactions make me an authority in goal and out on pitch.

What's your proudest moment since you joined?

It's tempting to just rehash this David Brent quote, but some of the campaigns I've worked on have been great. I don't like to go on about it, but I've got links in the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and most of the nationals at one point or another. Recently, I did a campaign which exposed failings in the Ministry of Defence, which I was proud of as it was genuinely raising real concerns.

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