A Day In The Life of Account Manager Jack Terry
I joined Red Setter as an Account Manager at the start of 2022. Before this, I’d been working in PR in a range of industries and specialisms since 2016, starting out as an Account Executive and learning the ropes. With Red Setter, I’ve definitely found that brand and creative design PR is where I want to stay – it’s such an interesting, creative and surprising industry and it’s made me realise that so much of what I love outside of work, is rooted in visual design. But what does a day in the life of a creative design PR Account Manager look like?
Across my time in PR, I’ve learned one salient thing: no two days in PR are ever alike, no matter how much you try to set them out to be! Even so, I do like to try and give my day a bit of structure, so after sending some ‘good morning’ gifs in our Teams chat (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia ones, of course) I start each day by writing out my to-do list. These will come from a weekly team catch-up, or actions from client calls, or from new stuff that has come in from clients or the wider world overnight. Once my list is written, I’ll star or number the things I need to get done – there is a lot of flex needed in PR (we’ll come back to that soon), but there is also a lot that needs to happen ASAP – those starred/numbered items will be the first to be addressed.
Now here’s where the idea of a to-do list gets muddy, because there’s a strong possibility that regardless of your intentions and plans for the day, your priorities and important tasks will have shifted by 11am. In a 24-hour news cycle, it’s a herculean task to stay on top of every breaking story and emerging trend, but as Account Manager, it’s up to me to make sure my clients are reacting to relevant news and being given the opportunity to share their thoughts with the media. I work closely with my brilliant Account Executive Josh to make sure we know what is going on in the world and highlight anything we think could work for our clients.
With so much going on, we also have to make sure we are keeping track of it all – anybody in PR who can remember the exact status of everything they’re working on is either a wizard or a liar. So I make sure that I dip into our myriad of trackers and reports to make sure everything is up to date and/or moving on nicely. Some of these reports are client-facing so it’s important to make sure they know what we are doing, but sometimes it’s nice just to see what you’ve accomplished in any given day/week/month.
This also often triggers a few chaser emails I need to send to clients and journalists, so I make sure to get those out early. Chasing too late in the day just means we risk adding a whole other day to the process, so by doing chasers in the morning, I give myself a better chance of seeing movement day by day.
We also have to be getting pitches out for the stories we are working on already with our clients, so I work closely with the whole team to identify new targets and contacts, develop and strengthen our pitches and get them out into inboxes. It’s a coordinated and collaborative effort that lets us all share our knowledge and expertise whether it’s from a journalistic, writing direction, or from a media strategy and relationship angle.
Before I know it lunch has rolled around, and if I’m in the office I try to get out for a walk along Brighton beach; if I’m working from home it means a lovely little break with my wife and my son. Either way, it always acts as a perfect palette cleanser to freshen me up for the afternoon.
Afternoons are largely more of the same – ticking off my to-do list, sending emails, making sure everything is up to date and accurate. For the afternoons I will also do some reading of news sites and creative magazines to make sure I’m clued up on what’s happening across the sector.
At the time of writing, I also have a client status call this afternoon. These happen every fortnight and allow me to speak to our key client contacts to give them a rundown of the activity on our side, and to also get updates from them on any new work, wins and wishes they might have. Straight after that, I will draft our call notes and actions which will allow us all to make sure we are providing each side with what is needed. It’s a great way to download the call into bitesize notes, meaning I can update my team without giving them a 30-minute recording to listen to.
I’ll also try to write in the afternoons if there is any to be done - LinkedIn posts, media alerts, client updates, blog posts (!). We know that journalists and editors are often less receptive and reactive in the afternoon as their day is already mapped out for stories and features, so it allows us to be a bit more inward-facing and client-focused.
Then as the day winds down, I start to plan the next day. Taking stock of what has happened and what needs focus allows me to scribble out a list that I can chop and change as needed when I open my notebook the next morning.
No two days in PR are the same, and while the unpredictability of it all may be unnerving for some, there’s a lot of joy to be found in the quick thinking, problem solving and opportunity spotting of it all, and it makes the coverage that much sweeter when it lands.