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Samaritans’ Claire Duncan starts the day with a BBC breakfast and finishes with a cocktail

14th March 2013

My day

6.45am: Wake up (it’s still dark outside!). I flick between BBC Breakfast and Daybreak while I get ready for the day.

7.30am: Quick catch up on Facebook and Twitter before heading out the door.

7.45am: I drive through leafy Surrey to our office in Ewell, briefing myself on the day’s news with the Today Programme.

8.30am: Arrive at the office and distribute the daily newspapers among the press team. We all look after different areas so we’ll be looking for anything from current news stories and features through to identifying potential new celebrity supporters and checking articles adhere to our media guidelines for reporting suicide.

8.50am: I read the coverage from our press cuttings agency. It is exciting to see some great pieces about our fundraising day, Feel Good Friday, makes all the hard work worth it! I send a roundup email of all our coverage to staff, volunteers and key stakeholders.

9.30am: I go through my emails. We have 201 Samaritans branches and more than 20,000 volunteers across the country so we get quite a few requests for support, ranging from advice on writing releases to requests for celebrity support.

11.00am: Telephone conference with Simplyhealth, sponsors of Feel Good Friday. We discuss everything from regional PR stunts and press coverage achieved to social networking and web content. Feel Good Friday is a really fun project to work on and I managed to secure some great celebrity supporters for this year (phew!), including Graham Norton, Claudia Winkleman and Linda Nolan.

12:00pm: Lunchtime. I am training for a half marathon in March so I go for a run, which helps me feel refreshed for the afternoon (plus it means I can eat a slice of cake without feeling guilty!)

1.00pm: I meet with the direct marketing team to discuss the next fundraising appeal. The press team look after the charity’s caller case studies so we talk about the different stories and who we might approach to be part of a donor mailing.

2.30pm: A quick catch up call with Kevin, one of our case studies. He called Samaritans when things became too much a few years ago. We have just published some research showing middle-aged men are at most risk of suicide and Kevin has recently appeared on BBC Breakfast, and in The Times, encouraging other to talk about their problems. Kevin is an inspiration, and speaking to him is a touching reminder of how important Samaritans’ service can be.

3.00pm: I write a press release announcing our new partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle.

3.45pm: Prepare for tomorrow’s shoot with The Sun. They are interviewing Matt, a young volunteer who was supported by Samaritans a few years back.

4.00pm: A fun way to round off the day, meeting with the rest of the team to brainstorm PR ideas for our forthcoming awareness day, 24:7.

5.00pm: Time to round things up in the office and go through any issues which might arise on the out of hours press phone.

7.00pm: Get the train to Clapham for a bit of R&R with some friends. BBC News, Mail Online and Facebook keep me occupied on my journey.

7.30pm: Mmmmm cocktails with the girls. Many of them work in PR so it is a great opportunity to share ideas and talk about future plans over a Cosmopolitan or two!

11.00pm: I get home and catch up with the latest episode of my favourite TV programme, Girls, on Sky Atlantic. A must-see for any Sex and the City fans!

Claire Duncan is fundraising press officer for Samaritans

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