The managing director of Z’est Corporate PR talks PRmoment through his kind of day

Marc Prema-Ratner’s commercial career began at media company EMAP, and after gaining his degree in marketing and European law, he joined global, integrated consultancy CWC, where he worked on Caterpillar, BA, Barclays, Renault, Boots and Kodak amongst other brands. Having specialised in PR with PR consultancy Eulogy!, Marc set up his own agency in 2001. He is regularly featured in the media, is active as a keynote speaker within the PR circuit and is the chairman of the corporate forum of the PRCA.

My Day

6:00 am: Remarkably, I am a morning person. Springing out of bed with the alarm, I am sweating it out at the gym within 15 minutes, whatever the season. Far from feeling knackered after an intense workout, I emerge feeling fresh and invigorated. Alternatively, if my PA has booked me into a business breakfast networking meeting, then I head off to that instead – obviously in very different attire!

9:00 am: At my desk, responding to emails and catching up on relevant current news, circulated by everyone in the agency, ensuring we miss nothing. After all, this is the very foundation of our business and clients quite rightly expect rapid responses to the day’s happenings.

9.30 am: A team catch up with my staff. A rapid meeting, as they already have everything in place to a tee. Ample time then to focus on communicating with clients on various aspects of their PR accounts. I also use this time to catch up with our overseas associates on initiatives, such as the pan-European Energy Alliance, which I think will create some good, media interest.

10:30 am: All-important catch up with operations and finance, going through pipeline forecasts, new business and other commercial imperatives. A vital exercise, given the demise of businesses succumbing to the ravages of the current economy. Survival and success depends on forward planning and vision.

11:00 am: Usually entails a catch-up with my PA who will have prepared an overseas business itinerary with military precision. The frequency of my international business trips gives staff and friends enough inspiration for cards and key tags with hilarious innuendo straplines (far too boorish to mention here!). Given our clients in environment, climate and energy, we are quite rightly looking into carbon offsetting seriously, so feel less guilty of owning and using eight airline loyalty cards.

3:00 pm: Probably finishing a client-journalist lunch meeting, done regularly to ensure clients aren’t just ‘one night stands’ with the media. Never believing in sitting in an ivory tower, I share these meetings with my lead account handlers, which also allows me to be at the heart of my craft with journalists.

6.30 pm: The working day ends after a myriad of things, which can be anything from creative writing, drafting strategies and responding to new business enquiries. Given that a major development this year is positioning one of our German clients within the Obama Administration to develop climate policy, I often find myself having discussions with various quarters in Washington – which requires a completely different skill set from the norms of PR, when you are trying to link a commercial agenda with stringent governmental ones. I try to leave work at a ‘respectable’ time, being a keen believer in work-life balance. However, in this industry no two days are the same. Plan as much as you will, something unforeseen is more than likely to present itself.