From creative inception to campaign management, there’s never a dull moment for digital marketing executives George Lawrence (UK) and Steph Ward (US) and superstar designer Pallavi Datta (UK) as they complete all manner of digital marketing tasks.
Life at a steadily growing PR agency is always busy. From client calls to media outreach to crisis comms, no two days are the same. While those on the PR side are focused on building out their lists of media targets and delivering the perfect pitch, the digital team is hard at work taking their efforts and turning them into campaigns spread across social media and search engines – often using video. While digital marketing tasks like posting to social platforms seem straightforward enough, creating and sharing exactly the right content at the right time is a challenge we all enjoy.
7.30am London / 2.30am Boston
George: I start my day early, avoiding my phone until after I’ve showered and dressed. Good for the creative thought process, but mainly due to the lack of wifi in my room and the fact that there’s only so much social media one can consume pre-coffee. I get this after a brisk London walk, before sitting down to work at 8.30am. This earlier than average start suits my productivity better and gives me more of an evening to focus on various hobbies.
Pallavi: I wake up with a checklist in my head of what I have to do, which is slightly depressing sometimes, but also provides the push I need to get ready for the day. Like a stereotypical creative, I need coffee to kickstart my brain and get the creative juices flowing. A side of milk and granola to go.
10am London / 5am Boston
George: It only takes about 90 minutes to need a second caffeine hit, usually due to emails, catching up on pet pictures sent by my US colleagues overnight and looking at my schedule for the day. Typically, this includes the usual digital marketing tasks of client meetings, internal team planning sessions and training. The majority of my meetings are in the afternoon. So, any reporting, campaign management or creative brainstorming gets done before lunch.
Pallavi: I try to get the smaller assets out of the way in the morning, which gives me a sense of accomplishment. The more I get done, the better. My 10am energy is crucial in determining how the rest of the day goes. Contrary to popular belief, a designer needs as much organisation as an account manager, as there are a million things going on in an agency at any given time. It’s not just about making something eye-catching, but also communicating with account managers/clients, setting expectations and making sure you don’t get overwhelmed/stuck in the creative process.
11.30am London / 6.30am Boston
George: I have a weekly client call, which usually involves reporting on current campaigns (either social or PPC) and receiving future campaign briefs. Decoding the next campaign brief and constructing a social media strategy to achieve (and excede) the client’s goals comes next. The rest of the morning is taken up with brainstorming. This involves myself, Pallavi and any PR team members. Pallavi then disappears with her brief.
Pallavi: I read the campaign brief and decipher how to best represent the topic. This time, it’s for a martech client. I think about what imagery to use and sketch it out on a piece of paper, I then digitise it on Adobe Illustrator, and After Effects if it’s got a bit of motion. And finally, hand it over to George or Steph.
Lunchtime London / Breakfast Boston
George: Time for a third coffee. My lunch breaks are usually spent meticulously planning my fantasy football team and then quickly cooking. Today it’s an omelette.
- Chop up chorizo and tomatoes and fry in a lightly oiled pan
- Mix two large eggs in a jug and add to pan
- Once it looks like an omelette, add toppings such as cheese, spinach etc.
- Expertly fold onto plate and eat.
- Do the dishes, back to work while still on that excitable caffeine high
12.30pm London / 7.30am Boston
Steph: While my London colleagues may be headed out to lunch, I’m just waking up and deciding on breakfast! I usually start my day with some oatmeal and at least one cup of tea, which usually turns into two or three if I’m being honest. I always go for black tea in the morning, either English or Irish breakfast, with a bit of sugar and a dash of milk.
1.30pm London / 8.30am Boston
Steph: My work day starts at 8:30am, and the first order of business is sorting through any emails that came through overnight, as well as catching up on all of the Teams conversations the European lorries have started while I was still snoozing. Once email admin is out of the way, I take stock of my to-dos, writing a list and figuring out which tasks are highest priority. Unless something is exceptionally urgent, I usually like to start the day with a few quick items, so I can have the satisfaction of checking some things off my list. This motivates me to tackle the rest throughout the day. Small wins can go a long way.
3pm London / 10am Boston
George, Pallavi and Steph: Pallavi reappears for feedback on the first draft of the martech campaign creatives. Depending on schedules and timezones, the first draft is either shared with the client by George straight away, or by Steph later on in the day. Social posts are also scheduled, once approved, for around US lunchtime.
Steph: By 10am, meetings – whether with clients or internal teams – have started to pick up for the day and I’ve hopefully made some good headway on my assignments. Time for one last cup of tea before the morning slips away!
6pm London / 1pm Boston
George: I’m usually heading to the gym/hockey/pub (delete as appropriate) by now. It’s great that the lorries prioritise work/life balance. Afterwards, I attempt to get eight hours of sleep to feel fresh and ready to begin the next dynamic day of digital marketing – where the only certainty is great chat from my colleagues.
Pallavi: I try to tie up as many tasks as possible before signing off for the day. Then, it’s on to the tricky task of deciding what I’m going to eat for dinner/binge on Netflix, and switch off for a couple of hours.
6.30pm London / 1.30pm Boston
Steph: Unless there’s a client conflict or meeting, I usually aim to use my lunch break as a chance to stretch my legs and go for a walk in the fresh air. I usually eat as I work – either before or after – so I can take a true break from the hustle and bustle of the day! Like a houseplant, I savour any sunlight I can get, and this is the prime time to do it. More often than not, I’ll have my little four-legged nephew, Patrick, join me for the adventure.
7pm London / 2pm Boston
Steph: Back from my walk and it’s time to dive into what remains of my to-do list!
11pm London / 6pm Boston
Steph: Did someone say happy hour? We’ve made it to the end of the day, when I’ll take one last scan through my Teams notifications and emails to make sure I’ve addressed everything that can’t wait until tomorrow. My after work activities typically revolve around how hungry I am and when I can eat. But I also like to work out, do some errands or just have a relaxing night at home. This enables me to rest up for another day of emails, social media and client requests in the big wide world of digital marketing!
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