Blog 5 minute read
An account director at Berkeley PR, Paul Stallard has recently become a father for the first time. Here he talks us through his sleep-deprived day as he balances a career and writing a blog with a young family.
3.00am: I hear my wife Amanda changing our two-month old daughter Mae’s nappy. I pretend to be asleep.
5.00am: Pretending to be asleep turned into actually being asleep, but I am again woken up by the dulcet tones of Mae singing for something to eat.
7.00am: Woken up again, but I can’t really go back to sleep as it’s the alarm clock this time. Once I’m showered and dressed, I check my emails and drink the first of many coffees.
8.00am: I start the journey to work, which will take me through the countryside of Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire to the Berkeley PR office just outside Reading. I love this time in the morning as I don’t go near any motorways so avoid the stress that many in our industry have to endure on the motorways or under the armpit of someone in the underground. This time allows me to think about the tasks I need to complete during the day and the actions I need to begin.
9.00am: While booting up the computer, I trick Luke, one of our account executives, into making me a large mug of coffee. I read the national newspaper round-ups that the team have emailed around the office, finish reading the rest of my emails, update my to-do list and have a quick look at what’s happening on Twitter.
10.00am: I start my preparations for tomorrow’s credentials meeting, researching the company, its competitors and the people I will be meeting. You can’t be too thorough!
10.45am: Sit in on a case study interview with senior account executive Hannah Humphreys. I find it is impossible to provide constructive feedback to my team on a case study unless I have listened to the story myself.
11.30am: Leave the conference room and am greeted by the celebratory cheers from account manager Emma, who has just set up an interview with The Times. There’ll be even more whooping when the coverage appears and she gets to put up three points on the national coverage league we run internally to encourage execs to look for a national angle on every story they work on – the overall winner gets a slap-up meal for two!
12 noon: Amanda calls to tell me that Mae has been booked into her first ‘music with mummy’ session. Note to self: encourage quiet instruments – trumpets and drums will be banned from the Stallard household.
12.10pm: Prepare for a kick-off meeting this afternoon with a new client.
1.00pm: I grab a baguette and packet of crisps and check my Daily Telegraph fantasy football team. I see that Defoe has scored again, just after I swapped him for an injured player. Classic. This is clearly why I work in PR and not football.
1.30pm: Catch up on my reading. BBC News, El Reg, Silicon, FT Digital and then onto the blogs. Bookmark and take notes on stories and ideas that have caught my eye for later.
2.00pm: The new client arrives and the kick-off meeting commences. I’m really excited about this campaign as the client is smart, has a great offering and, most importantly, has some clear objectives about what it wants to get out of PR.
4.00pm: Catch up on the emails that collected in my inbox during the meeting, check Twitter again, and give final approval/comments on the copy my teams have been busily working on.
4.30pm: Arrange to meet a client for an update meeting and to discuss the next quarter’s activity.
5.00pm: Catch-up meeting with director Jo Jamieson. We put the world to rights, discussing new business opportunities in the pipeline and what we can do to secure them.
6.30pm: SMS from Amanda asking if I have left yet – I lie and reply “yes”, I give Twitter one last check, file my emails out and jump in the car.
7.30pm: Arrive home, help bath Mae and enjoy a cuddle with her on the sofa. Even though she is only two months old, I’m blown away by how much character she has – I think Amanda and I are set to have our hands full with her.
8.00pm: While the wife is taking a well-earned rest, watching Eastenders/Coronation Street, I get to work on my blogs using notes I’ve taken during the day. I write for three blogs: the Berkeley PR blog, Get Surrey, and my own personal blog.
9.00pm: Finally get to have a bite to eat with the wife and a well deserved glass of wine. She reminds me what we’re doing this weekend. I listen, but quickly forget.
10.00pm: Check Twitter and emails for the very last time, and switch off in front of the TV. I’m a sucker for CSI, Flash Forward and True Blood at the moment.
12 midnight: I read a few pages of my book and then it’s time for bed. Only three more hours before I get woken up and pretend to be sound asleep again!