BSI’s Naomi Prior never lets standards slip
12th December 2013
6.00am: The alarm goes off and I roll over to reach for my iPad – it’s a reflex action. My patient husband gets me tea and toast as I peruse the morning’s headlines of six national newspapers, with BBC Breakfast on in the background, to see which stories we should respond to first thing.
7.00am: I jump in the car and relive my youth listening to Chris Evans on Radio 2. Moira’s news headlines, banter with Chris and her infectious laugh always puts a smile on my face.
7.30am: The computer is kick-started into life and my day starts with rapid responses to the news agenda, and I start my replies to any emails that might have come in from our 27 offices around the world. (Although I’ve already checked my emails – another part of that famous reflex action!).
8.00am: The first enquiry comes in. I am never sure what it is going to be with over 35,000 BSI standards to be potentially asked about. I may not know all our standards, but one of our 10,000 expert volunteers on the committee will be able to help me out.
9.00am: I head upstairs to have a meeting with our chief executive to brief him on the ‘Management Today Britain’s Most Admired Companies’ awards we are sponsoring and he will be speaking at. This is our second year and it takes huge amount of planning. He also takes the opportunity to congratulate the PR team on a recent campaign for financial services that made quite a few waves in the national press.
9.30am: I continue compiling all of the relevant documents for the event including a briefing document for BSI staff attending, speeches, seating plans and more. And then there is finalising of goodie bags, camera crews and editors that needs to be done too.
12.00pm: Complete filming schedule for a programme on product testing and the BSI Kitemark™
1.00pm: I should grab lunch, but I rarely have time. A meeting is normally called and a bite to eat is a piece of chocolate in the lift or a quick sandwich from the canteen. I catch up with my line manager to discuss the state of play on the four different campaigns I am currently juggling.
1.45pm: I have a journalist meeting at 2pm and will be sitting in on a conference call with an editor from one of our key business titles and one of my colleagues. In this case it is the head of market development for sustainability at BSI. We create a lot of standards in many different sectors across risk, performance and sustainability and this is a hot topic. The interview is carried out over the telephone and I am on hand to offer support and clarification.
3.00pm: Write a presentation on 2013 PR successes. A 683 per cent increase on national, broadcast and business media isn’t too bad!
4.00pm: I manage to nip to the café for a coffee, it’s a flying visit but that’s fine because I am on a roll, there is lots to do still. I have three phones, one of which we affectionately call the bat-phone. I check voicemails and find a request from our Canada office.
5.00pm: I call the Canadian team and provide them with content ideas for media interviews that the chief executive would be willing to comment on when he visits their office in a few weeks.
6.30pm: Dare I say it, but I am starting to feel a bit sleepy! It has been a long day, but it isn’t over yet as I brief the rest of my PR team on the logistics for the event tomorrow evening.
7.30pm: A text comes through from my husband with a picture of my cats and a glass of wine to tempt me home. So I shut down the computer and head out the door.
8.00pm: I’m home with a glass of wine in hand and good banter with my husband … though the BlackBerry and its flashing red light is never too far out of sight!
Naomi Prior, head of PR, BSI