A Closer Look: Account Manager

Natalie recommends consuming as much media as possible for a career in PR.

Following on from Monday’s insight into public affairs, today Natalie Johnson from Professionelles talks about working in public relations.

What is your official job title?

I’m PR account manager at integrated agency, Public.

What does your average day involve (if an average day even exists)?

I hate to say that no two days are the same, but that really is the case working in PR. However, the first thing I always do is check my emails. I receive emails from journalists, clients and staff at our agency, so it’s really important that I stay on top of these and get back quickly. I also respond to numerous journalist requests for case studies and products on behalf of our clients, and I have to be really quick to ensure they are featured since so many other PRs are receiving the same requests!

The rest of the time I’m either writing (anything from press releases to blog posts or PR strategies), updating our clients’ social media, in meetings, liaising with clients, meeting with journalists, visiting the stores of our clients… the list really does go on. It’s a great job with lots of variety, but you’ve got to be able to multitask! Being account manager also means I have had to learn to delegate; both up to my account director and down to our exec or interns.

What are the biggest challenges of your job?

Keeping the clients happy! A request could come in first thing in the morning that will shape the entirety of your day or even week. This can be challenging, especially when your to do list is already the length of your desk and you have to put it to one side until you’ve finished off a new and more urgent task. Essentially, PR is all about learning to prioritise your workload, and understanding what’s the most important thing you have to do right now to ensure you have a happy client.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love to talk to and meet new people so PR is perfect because I’m always liaising with someone – either journalists, other PRs or clients. I also like working as part of an integrated agency as I’m learning new disciplines and working with art workers, creatives and photographers on a day-to-day basis.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into a similar position?

1. Get lots of work experience. Proving your worth in the workplace is essential and tells prospective employers that you really can do the job. Placements also give you a proper look into the industry so you are prepared for what to expect.

2. Consume as much media as you possibly can – both online and offline. Knowing the media is crucial to your understanding of where your clients products and services will fit, and how to create stories that journalists and customers alike will want to listen to, read and respond to.

Thanks so much to Natalie for getting on board with this project. If you work in the media/creative industry and have five minutes to spare to help create this careers resource, please have a read about the project here.