This week we are spending a day with Jane Baerselman, Director, Teal Communications and Events Secretary for Women in PR.
Having spent all my working life in agency, with a routine largely dictated by others, I now work as a consultant, which means that I make the rules. The benefit is that I can prioritise my schedule and provide the most effective service to my clients.
The day starts with a check of my emails, see if any coverage or articles of interest have come in overnight and send them on to the client. I specialise in food, drink and lifestyle communications, so take some time to review any relevant news and magazine websites, and my alerts, to keep in touch with what’s going on and share anything of interest.
Today, I’m preparing for the consumer launch of a new bottled water following a successful trade media launch, so am dedicating time to creating a Q&A document to address any issues that the media might raise. The environment is currently a hot topic, following Blue Planet II, and plastic bottles are at the forefront of the issues concerning the media. I need to consider every angle and ensure that we have a response to all the challenges. This isn’t just a ‘nice-to-do’, it will inform the client’s environmental policy as well; so is a valuable business strategy for the brand at the same time.
A new client has requested that I hold a workshop for their fledgling food brand. This will generate a brand position, clear key messages and a Brand Bible to ensure that the communications are aligned across all marketing disciplines. The preparation often takes more time than the actual event, so I do my research to make sure that the workshop delivers the desired outcome. This involves studying the market, the competition, the opportunities and threats for the brand. The workshop usually lasts 4-6 hours and I insist on including as many people with different roles, as I believe everyone brings fresh thinking to the proposition.
Lunch can be at my desk, but today I’m meeting an ex-colleague to share thoughts and ideas for our pitch for a Provence winery. The consultancy world is much more collaborative than agency life, as we all recognise the benefits of sharing and networking and creating a team with skills which best fits a client’s objectives and brief. That is why being a member of Women in PR, and The PR Network, is so valuable to meet other practitioners with varying skill sets and experience.
As the events secretary of Women in PR, I’m in the process of organising the AGM and President’s Dinner in January 2018. Selecting the menu and wines for such a prestigious evening takes some thought and must reflect the importance of saying farewell to our outgoing president, Mary Whenman, after three years at the helm. I make my selection and update the budget accordingly. As a not-for-profit organisation, we have to make our funds work hard for us.
I recently took up Bikram Hot Yoga, so manage to get along to a 90-minute class at the end of the day, which clears my head as I can’t think about anything else whilst I’m in there. But it makes me so hungry that I dash home and sit down to a large bowl of pasta and glass of Provence rosé, and watch the Ten O’clock news before heading to bed. Well, you’ve got to do your research!