A day in the life of James Treacy, senior PR exec at Tourism Australia in London
7th January 2015
6.45am: I usually get up quite early to catch our colleagues in Sydney as they wrap up their day (they’re 11 hours ahead at the moment). I’m working with ITV’s Good Morning Britain on a trip to Australia later this month – ITV is travelling to Oz to do a week of live crosses and feature filming in celebration of Australia day on 26 January.
7.30am: I’ll travel from my house in Clapham into the office. We’re based at the Australian High Commission which is a beautiful old building on the Strand. All the materials that built the building were transported from Australia, and they’ve filmed Harry Potter and X-men there too, which is quite cool.
8.30am: I’ll go through the wad of emails which has come in overnight from Australia and write my to-do list for the day. I need to get back to various questions about the ITV trip, so I’ll speak with ITV on the phone too and get its thoughts on surfing with a pro on the Gold Coast and doing some Latte art in Melbourne. The trip is quite intricate, and we’re visiting four cities in five days so there’s no room for error.
9.30am: I’ll give one of our partners, Etihad Airways a call, I need to lock in the flights for ITV and organise the filming of their check-in at Heathrow. Airlines are important to us as partners, and we’re very lucky to have such great relationships with them. I’m a self-confessed aviation geek, so this is one of my favourite bits.
10.00am: I’ll take a look at the coverage clippings we got in from Gorkana that morning – there’s quite a bit so I need to identify which project they resulted from, and include them in our reporting. We’re a government agency, so ROI and reporting is a huge part of our jobs.
11.00am: I have a meeting with a TV production agency about doing a television series in Australia for a national UK station. TV is a big focus for us, and they take months to plan so we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to work with production agencies to make shows together. Our global marketing campaign is Restaurant Australia, which has pitched us the idea of sending a well-known celebrity chef to do a foraging tour of Australia which sounds awesome. I’ll write up lots of notes from the meeting and circulate to my head office and the states they wish to visit – stakeholder relations is a huge part of the role here.
12.15pm: I listen to a voicemail from a journalist who I travelled to Australia with in November. He attended our Invite the World To Dinner event, where we brought 80 international food and wine influencers to Tasmania to celebrate Restaurant Australia. From the UK we had eight, including AA Gill and other top journalists. The caliber of journalists we work with is amazing, and media relations is something I’ve always loved about working in PR. I’ll dig out the images he needs from our library and go through my to-do list.
12.45pm: At this stage I’m starving, we have a lovely kitchen in our office with a Nespresso machine that keeps us fuelled for the day. There’s always someone in the kitchen to talk to so I’ll sit down with my lunch and catch up with colleagues. There’s a good mix of nationalities in the office, and most people are surprised that I’m Irish, working in London, promoting Australia.
1.15pm: I’ll come back to my desk and continue to work on the ITV trip later this month. I need to speak with Tourism Victoria about the logistics involved with Hot Air Ballooning in the Yarra Valley near Melbourne. All of the States and Territories of Australia have an office on our floor, and we work in partnership with them on many projects, so it’s just a matter of nipping into them.
1.30pm: We’re working with BA High Life on sending an influential journalist to Australia later this year. I speak with them about angles, and we lock in that Sydney, Rock, Reef is perfect for our journalist as he’s a first-time visitor and our research has told us that these are what British people love when they go to Australia.
2.00pm: I have a meeting with our regional general manager and the wider team about what we will do for Restaurant Australia in the UK in 2015. Last year we did a pop-up restaurant here at Australia House for six nights, with each night themed by a different state of Australia. It was a huge success, and something which we’d like to recreate, but not replicate exactly. We throw out some big ideas which are top secret for now.
3.00pm: Back at my desk, I check my emails, I have some more media requests which I need to deal with, but I need to knock a dent in my to-do list also. I’ll put my head down and get some stuff done, such as reporting, media enquiries and writing up the notes from our meeting about the new Restaurant Australia ideas. I love working in-house as I really know my brand, and we have the creativity and budget to really think big. The UK is an important market for tourism to Australia.
4.30pm: I read a brief about an upcoming project which is very exciting. Tourism Australia is working with David Attenborough on his latest documentary on the Great Barrier Reef, as he’s based in the UK. This means we’ll be an important market to do publicity around it. What I really love about Tourism Australia is that it’s not necessarily travel PR, we work on TV series, pop-up restaurants and much more.
5.00pm: I’ll make sure that everything is down to Sydney that I need to speak about overnight. You get very used to the time difference, and it doesn’t bother me too much.
5.45pm: We have a very good work/life balance so I usually try to leave at a decent time. I’ll continue to do emails that have come through on my iPhone if needs be, but I’ll head to the gym after work a few days a week.
8.00pm: I meet up with some old colleagues from my agency days, we reminisce about old clients and I tell them all about life in-house. Tourism Australia is definitely one of the dream jobs in PR, and it’s sometimes hard to hold back how great it is.
11.30pm: I’m such a night owl, which is good when you work with a Sydney office. I’ll reply to a few emails on my phone and then get a reply “go to bed!” from our colleagues. I don’t need to take a hint, so off to bed I go, excited for tomorrow and continuing to promote Australia as a destination.
James Treacy, senior PR executive at Tourism Australia in London