What Does a Day in Agency Life Look Like?
Dominic Toretto may live his life a quarter-mile at a time, but for PR people, we live ours one quarter-hour at a time.
One of the most asked questions by prospective interns and students is, “What is a typical day like in an agency?” The short answer: there isn’t a typical day. One day you could be entirely dedicated to one project or client, and the next day you could be working on three or four clients (or five or six clients). Tack on administrative time, internal committees and other commitments that pop up and every day is a surprise.
Agencies and some other companies require you to code hours. When hours are billable, you are incredibly conscious of how you spend your time.
To demonstrate a day in the life at an agency, I’ve combed through my notepad and found a day I thought was particularly varied – I’ve also added in some pre- and post- work time that helps me get through my work day:
6:45-7:27 a.m. News + Inbox Check
When I’m drinking my cup of coffee, I like to sit on the couch and wake up to the news. I’ll check my email and my calendar to see what’s on the docket. Watching the last few minutes of the local broadcast will give me the big Richmond stories. Then, I’ll roll into the national morning show where I’ll get my national headlines. Once they transition back to the local weather break, I start to get ready.
9-9:30 a.m. Admin
Once I get to the office, I triage my inbox. What do I need to respond to now and what can remain unread until I’m ready to tackle it? I also do a quick flip through RichmondBizSense and through my Twitter feed to get some more headlines.
9:30 – 10 a.m. “Data Consultancy Research Group”
This is a new account and I’m a little behind schedule with the finalized Linkedin editorial calendar. There are a few emails that I start to comb through from our subject matter experts (or SMEs—these are the folks internally at an organization who are experts on a particular subject or product that we turn to for help fleshing out content ideas or position as spokespeople for videos, interviews or other content) who are sending their edits and feedback to post content.
10-10:15 a.m. Content Committee
Today is a Facebook Live day at Hodges. I get my feed ready and send out a couple of promotional posts through my personal channels. Once everything is queued up, I have it ready to run in the background as I start the next project.
10:15-11:15 a.m. “Online Lifestyle Magazine”
I check daily stats for the articles we publish for our client’s online magazine. I’ll check Google Analytics to pull page views, and I’ll check platform analytics to pull social engagement numbers. It’s also the first of the month so I’ll stay on those analytics tools to pull numbers from the previous month. I also revisit a draft that will publish the following week.
11:15-11:45 a.m. “Data Consultancy Research Group”
Today was the deadline for SMEs to get back to me, so a few more emails have come through. I continue responding to their questions and incorporating their edits and feedback into our editorial calendar.
11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Admin
I sit on the board of Richmond’s chapter of PRSA, and this year I’m responsible for the awards. I sent out congratulatory emails with a request that winners confirm the details for their award. I spend lunch churning through those emails, eating bites in between edits.
12:30-3 p.m. “B2B Technology Platform”
I hop in the car and head out to attend a client’s lunch and learn session where they talk about content marketing, an effort Hodges leads for them. I’m there to serve as a face of the agency and to help them answer any questions their employees had.
3:45-4 p.m. Admin
I’m wrapping the day up from home after the offsite meeting. I catch up on emails after being out.
4-4:15 p.m. “Online Lifestyle Magazine”
There is an email conversation about copywriting a headline for a post about to go live. We weigh the pros and cons of being descriptive enough for SEO while being creative enough to generate some excitement – we land somewhere in the middle.
4:15-5:30 p.m. “B2B Technology Platform”
I pull together a bi-weekly “conversational” report, something that is bulleted and easy enough to digest in a watercooler discussion. I also pull information to report on efforts Hodges made in the previous month.
6 – 6:30 p.m. Local + National News
After my laptop gets put aside, I tune to my favorite local affiliate to watch the 6 o’clock hour of the news and I roll into the evening national news broadcast. Perfect bookend to the day while I start prepping dinner.
If working in an agency is in your future, it’s super important to start thinking about time in a new way. To track my time, I draw a chart and fill it out day by day with my total hours – making it easy to plop it into our time management system. To further illustrate a day in the life at an agency – and to reiterate that no two days are the same, the next day looked something like this:
|“B2B Technology Platform”||1|
|“Online Lifestyle Magazine”||.75|
|“Data Consultancy Research Group”||.75|
|“Higher Education Organization”||2.25|