Blog 3 minute read
Paul Borge is an associate director and head of digital at Consolidated PR. He works across the consumer, corporate and business divisions to help clients to understand and capitalise on the online space around their organisations and brands.
“The variety and scope of digital, beyond PR, is what makes it so appealing,” says Borge.
Recent campaigns include a collaboration between MTV and Spotify to encourage safe sex through music, and driving legislative consultation for the Scottish Government using social media.
A ten-year PR veteran, Borge started in the press office of Dr Martens, where he kicked off his career with the traditional rites of passage – photocopying press cuttings and making tea. After that, he looked after PR at interactive TV channel PlayJam, a fast-paced UK start-up. Then he headed agency-side where he slowly migrated away from media relations, eventually bringing his passion for technology and the internet together with his PR expertise in digital roles at Band & Brown and Fleishman-Hillard.
Despite the hype and buzz around digital – and social media in particular – Borge believes in a measured and pragmatic approach, “Too many people talk digital up, create inappropriate campaigns and achieve very little. Audience insight, a tight set of objectives and the right skills are essential if you’re going to succeed.”
6.30am – My iPhone wakes me up with the Apple start-up chime, real fanboy stuff! I run through the BBC news, ITN and a quick scan through Twitter before I head to the office.
8.00am – Every working day starts with a good, old-fashioned handwritten list of actions and tick boxes. Anyone running digital in a PR agency will know what it’s like having to give your attention to so many projects, colleagues and clients at the same time.
9.00am – Our social media strategist – Mike Litman - and I sit down and plan the day out. The workload always includes a fair amount of research. Insight is critical when you’re planning or carrying out campaigns on the social web. Not just audience profiling, but an in-depth understanding of influence, driving characteristics and motivational impulses. It’s all about getting to know people and what makes them tick.
11.00am – The rest of the day is usually swallowed up with meetings and cracking on with anything from monitoring the social web for clients to talking to bloggers or coaching clients. I tend to obsessively check the analytics for campaigns repeatedly throughout the day. Stats are hugely fascinating – especially when you can see the impact of your search or social media work in real-time.
1.00pm – Training is a big part of my role, including a series of lunchtime sessions for colleagues. PR agencies shouldn’t leave digital to the digital specialists, everyone needs to develop their skills.
3.00pm – I get a bit restless as the day goes on, probably as a result of staring at two or three screens all day, so I’ll break the afternoon up walking round and talking to colleagues rather than emailing.
6.00pm – I generally try and leave at a reasonable time; I’d rather start early than sit in the office all night. That said when I spend an evening at home I do tend to get straight back on the web!