BabyCenter's Mike Fogarty talks about the challenges of working across different time zones in PR

Date: 13 June 2012 13:27

My day

6.00am: I wake up early and make the kids’ lunches and snacks for their school day. I always try to have breakfast with them – I love their energy, and it helps get us all going.

7.30am: I like to hop on the train from my town into Manhattan, but some days I’ll drive in order to connect via phone with clients and colleagues in the European and Middle-Eastern markets. My day continues like this – BabyCenter operates around the globe and, from start to finish, my working day very much reflects that. At the moment we are just prepping our UK Media Mum launch in London, so this morning I was on the phone to my team there to get an update on progress.

8.30am: I officially start the day with my team in NY – our head office is in San Francisco, but our sales and PR HQ is based in Manhattan. The first hours of the day are all about catching up with agencies and clients in New York. Today we had a strategic planning session with P&G. I presented new research from our 21st Century Mom insights series about how mums use their mobile phone while out and about shopping.

Much of my day is about ‘”time-zone management” – I’m constantly aware of the clock across the 22 markets we operate in. Knowing whether it’s at the start, middle or end of their day, I’m able to stay connected to and support all our teams; on Skype, via email or on the phone.

12.30pm: My lunch routine is simple – I always get something quick and easy and have it back at my desk. I’ll Skype with the San Francisco team over their breakfast while I make my way through a salad or sandwich from a local deli.

2.00pm: Today I had a call with BabyCenter Brazil. We are seeing huge growth in Brazil at the moment and are actively building our presence there, which means ongoing decisions about staff, investments, partnerships and priorities.

3.00pm: In the early afternoon, I focus on my in-house team in New York City. Today I met with our sales and trade marketing team about our schedule of key client events for the second half of the year. We focused on forthcoming plans for my Forbes CMO blog where I help marketers to understand mums and their purchasing behaviour. Today we planned the remaining posts for 2012.

4.00pm: I reconnect with San Francisco – our team there is really fuelling growth both in developed and emerging markets and I have to stay connected. As this is the middle of their day, it’s a great time to check-in and make sure decisions are getting made on high-priority work. Today we reviewed new web and mobile design updates, approved an international social media project, and discussed the latest research for our UK Media Mum insights launch in late June.

5.00pm: This is the hour I keep open for last-minute meetings that arise, or I’ll have one-on-one time with my New York team. Wednesdays are always an exception – it’s family dinner night and even if the day gets really busy I will always leave early to be home on time to eat dinner with my family.

9.00pm: My working day frequently ends with a dip back in for quick calls to China after my kids are tucked into bed. Alongside Brazil, we are focusing on Asia at the moment. Building business there, and in China particularly, means regular check-ins. For me that’s the end of day; for them it’s the start.

11.00pm: I always wind down with a read. My iPad is full of books in various stages of progress and after an active day I look forward to a well-told story. Of course, my schedule is a completely different story when I’m travelling.


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