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How to make perfect PR tea

When it comes to making the perfect cuppa, Matt Humphries, managing director at agency Babel PR is the person to ask! Here he describes a typical day at the office.

My day

6.45am: My day starts – I’m out of bed and there’s no messing around. I have a quick check of my emails – we have lots of US-based clients who send emails through the night and I respond to anything urgent as needed.

7.45am: Will it be the Hammersmith and City line or the Central Line today? Who can predict the efficiency of the London tube? Either way I’m out of the door by 7.30am and walking to the station. When I’m safely seated on the tube, I listen to industry podcasts from the likes of

8.30am: I arrive at the Babel office and the team is gathered in the boardroom reading today’s papers, scouring the pages for any potential PR opportunities. One of the team spots a news piece on broadband infrastructure in the UK – a perfect story for one of our telecoms clients.

9.30am: A quick check in with the team on client priorities for the day. Several quick team catch-ups puts everyone back on track and focused for the rest of the day. Any questions are answered and the team is now feeling productive and raring to go. After rallying the troops, I’m now back at my desk catching up with emails. We’re only an hour into the day, but I know it’s going to be a busy one, and my to-do list is several pages long. I might even sneak in another quick cup of tea while I can. My days change from day to day, but this is generally a good opportunity for me to check in with clients to make sure they are getting everything they need.

10.30am: We have a major client event coming up in a few weeks’ time, so I take the time to review the press releases drafted by the team, the media pitches and the plan of attack for outreach. We have a bit of an at-desk brainstorm on new pitch angles and targets for the event.

12pm: Time for senior management’s weekly management meeting where we catch up on marketing activities, new business outreach and agency-focused initiatives. In my role as MD, I’m particularly invested in training our team, so this is a perfect outlet for me to discuss how to upskill and broaden the skill set of the agency. It also provides a good opportunity for forward planning in terms of how to grow the agency and our portfolio.

12.30pm: No rest for the wicked, it’s now time for a quick brainstorm involving the whole agency. The more minds, the better! I’m working on a significant new business pitch for a prospect and getting the wider team involved in some creative thinking exposes them to the new business activity that I spearhead. Today we’re talking wireless internet! Our brainstorms are never dull, and always pun-filled.

1pm: I don’t often have time for lunch away from my desk. If I don’t have five minutes to pop out and grab something from around the corner – Fitzrovia is perfect for eateries – then I’ll continue on with my to-do list and try and grab something to eat later on in the day when I have some spare time.

2.30pm: Time to turn those creative ideas into something workable. I spend the latter hours of the afternoon working on longer-form pieces of content or new business proposals.

4.30pm: Tea break. I’m quite particular with my tea, as people know. Tea bag first, then milk, then the water. If it’s made any differently, I’ll know! Since I’m making tea, I’ll check in with the team to see how they are getting on with end-of-day wrap-ups to clients. And then back to the new business presentation.

6pm: It’s over and out for today. After checking in with our internationally based clients, I head off home for a pint with old colleagues, ready to start again tomorrow.

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