Blog 3 minute read
Helen Westgate, founder of PR agency Westgate Communications, starts the day barking at two teenage “silent assassins” and ends the day feeding them
6.30am: My day starts with me barking at two horizontal forms – my two teenagers, aka the silent assassins, in a forlorn attempt to make sure that they get up in time for the school bus. Over the last year, I have realised it is pointless continuing to howl at them so, once I have completed this daily dawn chorus, the dog and I hit the local park, marching to Donna Summer’s “She works hard for the money".
7.30am: Having stomped for an hour to disco anthems, I return to get ready which usually involves locating my best shirt at the bottom of my daughter’s wardrobe, bless her! A quick scout online at emails, the top headlines and Twitter and it’s time to head out the door.
8.45am: I arrive for a daily catch up with my lovely (and long-suffering) admin team, Jane and Pauline. We work out together where I am going to be for the day, whether I know how to get there (!) and whether I have been wildly optimistic about how many meetings I can cram into one day. It is at this point that Jane has been known to make some ruthless diary decisions.
9.10am: Off to the station with the team to make my first client meeting. One of the things that I love most about Westgate is that our work is so varied. Over the last couple of months, we have launched the jewellery shop Winsor Bishop in Norwich, done an event to launch DFDS’ new Dover to Calais route with Kelly Brook, promoted Adnams’ new Cellar and Kitchen Shop in Bloomsbury as well as issuing DFDS’ annual results to the financial press.
10.00am: We arrive at the client’s offices for a strategic catch up – this large business services company wants its PR programme to focus specifically on targeting just one vertical trade sector alone.
12.00pm: Meeting over and action plan agreed. I catch up on emails and sign off a new business proposal.
12.30pm: Wahacas for a lovely catch-up lunch with my Adnams client, we have been working together for the last five years and it’s great to see her. There are so many things that we do for Adnams and it is a good time for a bit of an overview, to establish the priorities going forward.
2.00pm: I bid farewell to head back to the office.
3.30pm: The team meeting. Every week without fail I sit down with the account heads to go through all the results for every single client. As a team, we examine everything achieved to date, discuss opportunities in the pipeline, as well as brainstorm ideas and swap contacts. These sessions should not last more than an hour, if Jane isn’t there then we can starting drifting into amusing, and time consuming, anecdotes.
4.30pm: I call the kids to work out where they are and then I have a catch up with Westgate’s design and digital team. We work on a lot of integrated communications plans for clients; combining PR with digital and social media programmes. In this session we are planning the programme for our bioscience client, Unigro.
6.00pm: I wrap up for the day, work out what is happening tomorrow and what on earth I am going to feed the silent assassins for their supper.