24-10-2012

A day in the life of an AE at AD Communications

Author: Ellie Bunce

I live in Hampshire, so my morning start is a bit earlier than most in the office. At 6h30 my alarm goes off and I stumble out of bed, have breakfast and usually leave the house around 7h30. My commute to Esher includes a morning battle with the A3 traffic arriving at the office around 8hr30, always with my favourite soya Vanilla Latte in hand.

Author: Ellie Bunce

I live in Hampshire, so my morning start is a bit earlier than most in the office. At 6h30 my alarm goes off and I stumble out of bed, have breakfast and usually leave the house around 7h30. My commute to Esher includes a morning battle with the A3 traffic arriving at the office around 8hr30, always with my favourite soya Vanilla Latte in hand.

No one day is ever the same at AD, however my first job usually involves responding to any urgent client or journalist emails received overnight (usually from the States). We are very busy strategy planning and preparing for a huge event coming up next year, so there is a lot happening!

I then get down to gathering client press coverage, interesting business comment or breaking news. Keeping up to date with developments in the print industry is crucial for me to do my role well. Print is such a diverse and interesting area so I read a whole host of trade and consumer publications to try and keep my finger on the pulse. My reading will include scanning online articles as well as downloading print publications from our bespoke online cuttings service that has been developed in-house.

Today is my day to Tweet for AD. There are five of us on the digital team and we are responsible for making sure that AD’s Twitter Stream is well populated with relevant content for our followers and that we keep an eye out on what stories are breaking. Bingo, story found and tweet job done!

Translations for a client press release (French, Italian, German and Spanish) have arrived in my inbox so now it’s time to issue the release to European print media. Once the press release is formatted, it is uploaded to the AD media centre and issued, with the usual finger hesitation and triple checking everything before hitting ‘send’. We have also prepared a couple of case studies, so I speak to a few relevant titles to gauge their interest in featuring them.

I then prepare for a trip to London to research a feature I’m writing about print at Christmas, so a visit to Selfridges and Harrods’ Christmas shops is in order for added inspiration. I bring my camera as photography is a must. I really enjoy writing so I was definitely wearing my lucky socks the day I landed this article! After restraining myself from looking at the shoe sections and catching Christmas fever, yes it’s only October, I travel back to AD.

Lunchtime at AD usually consists of people taking a trip to Waitrose and discussing their latest healthy lunches. I usually stick to very boring peanut butter topped rice cakes! Whilst eating my lunch I flick through the latest news and social media channels, anything else to Tweet? I also take a look at my emails which have arrived during my trip to the City.

Early afternoon I check for coverage from the release I issued this morning and update my client. I also have a couple of press releases to write, but first I have to find a suitable central London venue for client media briefings. Desk research and talking with my colleagues helps me find a few that match the criteria and so I send them across for client approval. Now to invite the media.

Before I can get onto this, the PR Team has its weekly meeting to brainstorm and bounce ideas and news off each other. Off we trot with our teas/coffees/waters/chocolates in hand. After around 30mins of highly creative debate I get back to my desk.

Back to the job in hand: liaising with my account manager, we select media to invite to the press briefing and I get on the phones. This I found daunting at first, however the more I’ve done it and spoken to the individual journalists, the easier it has become. Result! Four out of five titles have accepted, job well done.

Today we’re having a slightly more unusual day, and there is only one hour left until I have to get ready for a softball game versus a group of journalists. I continue to respond to my emails and have another search for coverage to send to my client. A news story about the latest in printing inks catches my eye, so I forward to my client as a potential feature opportunity.

Then, with my trainers and softball bat in hand, it’s time for the big match – AD versus the journalists. It’s a lot of fun and certainly a good way to put a name to a face! After a lot of batting and missed catches (by me) I head home for an early(ish) night as tomorrow I’m off to London, this time for a PRCA training course. Another different day in my life as an AE at AD Communications.