Midas Public Relations’ Stefania Pavlou describes a day in the build up to Independent Booksellers Week
7th August 2013
6.30am: I wake up, turn on the Mac and spend 45 minutes researching a great passion of mine which I like to pursue in my spare time, choreography. I scour the top blogs and websites for updates on the latest festivals and music trends and email a bunch of people about performance opportunities for my latest collaboration; a contemporary dance project with music producer Area Grey. Satisfied with a gig lined up for the weekend, I whack on Sean Keavney’s BBC Radio 6 Breakfast Show and head for the shower.
8.00am: At the bus stop I call my mother to check in on her and catch up. I find that this is the best time to call her before the day, or week, or month slips away; it’s important to keep in touch with family.
8.15am: On an extremely cramped tube I pick up a newspaper and any abandoned lifestyle magazines to make sure that I’m in the loop with the world at large. We are a creative arts-based company which means that our consumer clients range from authors to architects, music festivals, awareness charities and conservation trusts, so it’s important to be responsive to any news stories, interviews or features that could be relevant to our clients on a very wide range of topics.
8.30am: My mind is already buzzing with today’s article deadlines, client meetings and my schedule for the week ahead. I find that making a list of my priorities before I get to work is most effective for my time management, so I scribble away at my notebook at angles only a contortionist should ever have to embrace.
9.00am: First thing, I attend a talk in central London hosted by PRCA; the Advertisers Producers Association (APA) is presenting on Film in PR and how well they can work together. It’s a fantastic conference and I agree with many of the points made; I also think that a short viral could work very well for our deaf awareness charity client, Signature. After the keynotes I spend some time talking to the speakers and making new contacts.
11.30am: I rush back to the office to make it in time for a Google+ Hangout interview I’ve set up for an Audible.co.uk author; the author is based in Wales and the interviewer in Lancashire, so this is the perfect mechanism to carry out the meeting. The interview will be streamed live to “Mummy Bloggers” across the world that will take notes and write up their own features. It’s a great win.
12.30pm: I finally get to check my emails and catch up with my team.
1.00pm: If I’m lucky, lunch is had in the sunshine in Kensington Gardens with my colleagues. Today though, I have leftovers at my desk and work through.
2.00pm: There are several strands to the Independent Booksellers Week (IBW) campaign, each with its own specialised PR; international author awards, a UK author tour, exclusive literary works contributed by acclaimed authors, adult and children’s regional events throughout the week, a high-profile debate at the Southbank Centre, and a call to action asking more people to support their local independent bookshops.
This afternoon, we suddenly get the go ahead to reveal the exclusive IBW Written Word art-prints which feature handwritten extracts from famous authors. With only two days to go until the first day of IBW, the turnaround to publicise these is extremely fast. Recognising that I only have short-lead media to work with, I contact art and literary editors at the nationals, but thinking laterally, I know that these prints will be popular with wider sectors; interior design, typography, culture, and women’s and men’s lifestyle publications and blogs are also approached.
2.30pm: I send an email to all the film industry people I met at this morning’s PRCA talk and add them on LinkedIn. Write up my notes from the talk and send them around the office.
3.00pm: I check in with my account director and together we work out the best strategies to proceed with the media requests from my IBW pitch. I enlist the help of one of our interns and it’s all hands on deck to make sure each journalist receives the correct content, copy and hi-res images they need to cover the story.
3.30pm: Many of the IBW media requests require by-lined copy for quotes from the Booksellers Association (BA) and tailored copy for larger feature opportunities. I spend the rest of my afternoon on the phone to the BA and writing articles which meet their messaging criteria.
5.00pm: I note all of today’s press activity in the corresponding weekly report documents. With so much activity taking place across several accounts in one day, it is important to keep track of even the minutest detail, this way the whole team can stay informed.
6.00pm: As I head out of the door to my ballet class, I take one last look at the Midas Twitter page and re-tweet the best bits from my day.
Stefania Pavlou is account executive at Midas Public Relations
Find out more about Independent Booksellers Week