Jack Peat, head of content at 4mediarelations, brings fun into work
12th March 2014
7.15am: The alarm on my mobile phone rings with that familiar tone we’ve all come to despise. Not one for snoozing I jump out of bed ready to take on the world, before promptly laying back down to debate an extra five minutes kip!
7.45am: Swift stroll to either the Central or Piccadilly Line which are equidistance from my flat. As a man who lives life on the edge there’s nothing quite like a spontaneous trip to Green Park to take the Piccadilly line when logic dictates Oxford Circus to take the Central line is the more prudent choice.
8.30am: Arrive at work early to secure my office mug and munch a Pret a Manger croissant if it’s Friday or my birthday. After catching up with the early morning radio team I whiz through my emails, which usually consist of a solitary On This Day newsletter with a few corking facts and interesting titbits from this day in history.
9.00am: The familiar office buzz of telephone rings and chit chat is in the air. As head of content my day is wonderfully varied. From our little corner of Mayfair our offices host four companies – I’m unique in working across all four of them. In the parlance of David Brent, “we're like one big organism, one big animal. The guys upstairs on the phones, they're like the mouth. The guys down here, the hands.” I’m probably the humour.
9.30am: After boring the team with The Office-based jokes I crack on with the day’s work. My job role fits into (what seems like) hundreds of disciplines, but roughly segmented I support the company in two ways; overseeing all editorial output and supporting the growth of our network of companies with content. Thus, no two days are alike. Each of our companies require different types of content to support different goals and my day-to-day workload fluctuates significantly, but for the purpose of this column, I’ll cheat!
10.00am: The online, radio and TV teams send out cue sheets and press releases early in the morning which I duly strip apart, tighten and polish ready to be rolled out in a daily ritual I’ve dubbed “Pimp my Grammar“. All other reports and outgoing editorial content stop by my desk, as well as all web content and even the odd email. As I tell the team, it’s better to be safe than grammatically ridiculed for chucking an ambiguous restrictive pronoun in a semantically null sentence. It’s a lesson to live by!
11.00am: After working through my second coffee of the day I start on “project work“, which usually consists of a design task or document work. Client work such as infographics and white papers are reserved for the middle chunk of the day when I’m at my optimum level of output. I’m therefore generally buried in figures or engrossed in an Adobe programme trying to patch said research into an aesthetically pleasing medium.
1.00pm: Our office is set just steps from London’s most iconic tourist destinations. Regent Street is a stone’s throw from our doorstep and Piccadilly Circus, the Ritz and Hyde Park are equally as close. So I eat lunch at my desk. I know, I need to get out more, but if it’s any consolation I do sometimes Google Street View parts of the capital while chomping on my ham sandwich. What can I say, I’m a product of a digital generation! But if the urge for Vitamin D or the fresh (carbon monoxide infected) air of London is too much of a lure, I sometimes take a light stroll around Soho.
2.00pm: Client work can often see me through the day, but if I have a gap in my schedule then I crack on with in-house work, which is always unpredictable in nature. One of the regular fixtures on my in-house work pile is case studies showcasing the coverage we have secured our clients and the veritable projects we’ve worked on. Credential documents are also key weapons in our arsenal as an SME, and most of our in-house firms sport these documents which I usually craft. Weekly news items on our studio activity and broadcast/ research/ PR trends also get written up during this time, which support other search engine optimisation tasks.
4.00pm: Along with a host of written content I also design mailers, flyers, digital posters and advertisements to promote our network of companies. It’s my job to get the creative angle right and ensure all promotional material is both aesthetically pleasing and consistent with our brand messages, which often turns into a team effort from the creative brief to the end product.
5.00pm: We take turns on social media to mix up our output and keep our social following engaged. If the responsibility is bestowed on me then I think of a theme the night before and prep a blog and any research for the day to be posted out on Twitter the following morning.
6.00pm: I finish work and take a walk to the Central Line (I’m less of a maverick after a full day’s work). An average night generally consists of a gentle jog and at least half an hour by the stove cooking up a gastronomic feast of whatever bits I can find in the fridge. I’m vegetarian through the week but eat a week’s worth of meat at the weekend; it’s a financial mentality rather than an ethical consideration.
11.00pm: It’s bed time. After a long day at work, a good run and a therapeutic cooking session I’m usually ready to hit the sack, and once I’ve done that, I go to bed.
Jack Peat, head of content at broadcast agency 4mediarelations