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A Day in the Life of a WPR member

A Day in the Life of a WPR member: Zoe Melarkey

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Written by Zoe Melarkey, head of PR for npower and a mentee on this year’s PR Week / Women in PR mentoring scheme

Date: 21st June, day of the Queen’s Speech!

5am: Spend an hour reading the news and social media. I read The Times thoroughly (except the Sports section obviously!) and use my News app to go through the media’s top stories. Today I’m looking at the implications of the Queens Speech on the energy industry – and what it means for the proposed Price Cap, the Smart Meter roll out and Electric Vehicles. I notice The Times interprets a change to the Smart Meter roll out differently to what I’ve read elsewhere, so I email our Public Affairs team to check their understanding.

6am: my two boys Ted and Ben are up to start their day! I remember just in time it’s non-uniform day, in exchange for bringing a bottle for the tombola for the school fete. So I sort a quick clothes change (joy) grab wine and we’re off once the dog walker arrives to collect our cockerpoo Bear.

I drop the boys and then it’s a mad dash round the M42 to jump on the fast train down to London. On the train, I go through email and work on a press release about a new partnership for npower.

10am: I find a coffee shop in Euston with WiFi. npower adopted agile working in 2015, putting employees in charge of where and when we work – and it’s made such positive difference. I review the entries into PR Week’s Small Consultancy of the Year awards (I’m on the judging panel). I’m so impressed by the quality of the entries and want to make sure I do them justice.

11am: I meet my PR agency Golin to talk through our plans and campaigns for H2. One exciting project is the Superhero Series, the UK’s first ever disability sport event for ‘the everyday superhero’, which fits with npower’s Super Powers campaign. We’re working with gold medal winning athlete Jonnie Peacock, to search for two team mates to take part in the triathlon.

There are also some big plans for two of our CR initiatives – Fuel Bank (which we run with Food Banks, so people don’t have to choose between heating and eating) and our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support (who we’ve worked with for 13 years to help people living in cancer keep warm without the worry.) On Tuesday night, at the Corporate Engagement Awards, we won three awards (including Gold for PR) and the Grand Prix for our partnership with Macmillan.

2pm:  Coffee with the Guardian’s energy correspondent where we discuss various matters, especially the reaction to the Queen’s Speech.

3pm: Walk round the corner to Caravan at Granary Square. I’ve got 20mins to go through emails, check in with the team via WhatsApp and do a PowerPoint slide I’ve been asked for by EOP. Then it’s a creds meeting with an agency that have asked to talk to me here.

4.15pm: Quick call to my parents who are looking after my boys overnight, then tube it down to Waterloo, so I can check into my hotel (all npower employees, from the board downwards, stay in Premier Inns, before you imagine it’s anything too swanky!)

5pm: All checked in, I log back on and respond to email. I also do some research and planning around CPD. I’m very focused on CPD for myself and my whole team this year. It’s one reason I’ve just signed up to the PR Week & Women in PR mentoring scheme as a mentee.

6.30pm: Off to Green Park for ‘The New Utility Customer’ event hosted by The Executive Network, bringing together marketing, PR and operations staff from various utilities. We have a lively conversation over dinner around how to get things right for customers and deliver real engagement in a commodity market.

10pm: A final check of emails. I’ll be up at 5am again to make the 6.20am train from Euston to Birmingham.