Claire Foster, Direct Line Group describes her busy schedule
11th June 2014
6.10am: The alarm goes off. After pressing the snooze button (just the once, honestly) I get up and check my emails over a mug of black coffee.
8.10am: I do consider myself lucky to be able to drive to and park at work. I gather my thoughts, listen to the news and think about the busy day ahead. South London/Surrey is the insurance hub of the UK. I drive past the old Direct Line building, LV and Allianz Assistance on my way to Churchill Court in Bromley.
8.50am: An email from Eloise at Media Bounty says our Direct Line Pet Insurance campaign – K9 Café with James Martin, has taken over the Your Dog website. James has tweeted the coverage to his 91K followers. Great news to start the day!
9.00am: Internships get a lot of bad press in our industry, but I think they are a great way to get some solid experience and insight, as long as they are paid fairly and allowed to develop their skills. When I was studying for my marketing degree, I worked in the holidays at an automotive PR agency in Kingston. It was a fantastic experience and it helped affirm that PR was the career for me. This morning, I interview a potential candidate for an eight-week placement. I was overwhelmed by his talent, maturity and values. I think he will be a great asset to the team.
9.45am: Catching up on emails. I have no idea how many emails a “normal” person gets in a day, but I subscribe to all the PRmoment, PRCA and CIPR newsletters to keep up to date on industry issues and training courses. I also scan through all the Response Source requests to see if there are any opportunities, make some changes on a comment we are issuing and sign up to a Gorkana breakfast.
10.00am: Our PR agency has come to Bromley for a meeting. We discuss current stories in the planner and talk about what we have planned for H2. We’ve had some great results this year on crime trends and communities for Direct Line, Privilege and Churchill home insurance. Our next phase of this campaign is very exciting.
12.05pm: I jump on a train to Victoria for a lunch meeting with some great contacts at Yahoo. I really like the way it uses our stories and data in such a shareable format. It recently covered our Green Flag story on “what we hate to miss“, from a female perspective. Using the fear of missing out (FOMO) angle, it produced a series of pictures. My favourite was “If there are no selfies of me at the event, how will people know I exist?” A tongue-in-cheek approach to something many of us observe.
12.55pm: I’m sure we just spotted the lead singer from Elbow in Charlotte Street.
3.00pm: The end to a perfect lunch; fun, informative and delicious. It’s so important to maintain relationships and understand what journalists want and how you can help them. I head back to the office on the train.
4.10pm: Arriving back at my desk, I answer more emails. My colleague, Vicky, sends round the final copy of the latest Direct Line telematics story on rush hour traffic. A great story and it’s already been picked up by the Press Association. It is good to be able to share some of the incredible data and trends that telematics identifies.
4.45pm: I have a quick catch up with our head of marketing for Direct Line. It’s her first week back from maternity leave and we discuss integrated planning for 2015.
6.30pm: Leave the office. Jump back in my car. I switch between BBC Radio 2, Absolute and Magic on the way home.
8.30pm: Tucking into dinner, I am guilty of dual screening. The TV is on, but I am in my daily routine of checking Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn and my Hotmail account.
9.00pm: Still on my iPad, now catching up with any TV shows I’ve missed. I rarely watch anything live now.
11.45pm: I’m lucky I can operate on around six hours sleep. I try to be in bed before midnight but I can’t resist checking the Mail Online app one last time before my head hits the pillow.
Claire Foster, media relations manager at insurance company Direct Line Group