Blog : a day in the life

A day in the life: Yasmin Ahmad

A day in the life: Yasmin Ahmad

Ever since joining the Stripe PR train in 2013 I’ve found it near impossible to sum up my job in one word, sentence, or even a paragraph for that matter. My friends always ask “What is it you actually do?” and since the day I started I’ve found it hard to put my job into a string of words that my non-comms industry friends can digest. So, to give a little taster of what a day in the PR  and communications world is really like I’m going to break it down for you….*

*Please note: a cheeky chocolate biscuit or two may have accidentally slipped off the copy…

7am
I’m an early riser and find it much easier to peel myself out of bed in the morning than keep my eyes open past 10pm. Before getting ready for the day, I have a quick scroll through my social channels to see what’s been happening in the world and check my emails to ensure no comms emergencies have happened overnight.

Work wear in PR ranges from relaxed and comfortable for a day at your desk, to power dressing for client meetings or pitches. Today it’s a pair of jeans and relaxed shirt. After a bite to eat I jump in my Fiat 500 and face the morning M8 traffic.

9am
Officially, the day kicks off at 9am but I try to get in early to get my head into the day. Being an account executive means that finding, mounting and sharing client coverage is first on my list. Once all coverage has been sent over I grab a few newspapers and catch up on the day’s news. Together, the team will highlight and share exciting or relevant news – this can be anything from a great PR stunt to the latest app launching.

10am
Once I’ve scanned my to-do list I get on with the day’s tasks – I try to highlight three priorities to focus on. We regularly use the morning to issue and sell in media releases to target press. Getting our client news in front of journalists can often be quite challenging so ensuring we sell is crucial.

11am
One of my daily tasks is to manage social media on behalf of clients.  We’re all familiar (and most likely, addicted) to using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a daily basis but taking control of a business account and community managing each page requires a lot more time, planning, and precision than your average personal post.

12.30am
It might not happen every day, but Stripe encourages staff to reclaim their lunch break following this Stylist campaign. Not one for working out at night, I try to use my lunch breaks to get a bit of fitness in to my life. After a 28 minute workout (Kaylia Istines Bikini Body Training Guide) I return to my desk to eat a few slices of avocado on toast.

2pm
If you’re going to work in this industry, you need to enjoy creative writing. I often use the afternoons to tick off some of my writing tasks – media releases for me range from the latest Stewart Milne Homes showhome opening to new A/W fashion at Buchanan Galleries. 

3.30pm
I have a Stripey Thinking session in the diary – this is the company’s creative thinking process. Through a dedicated facilitator, we use a system of categories, post-its and creativity to come up with captivating ideas for the next big client campaign, photocall or event.

4.30pm
Back at my desk I try to tick off a few more task before the day ends. PR is an extremely fast paced business and there really is never enough hours in the day to get what you need done.

5.30pm
5.30pm passes and I continue working to get the task at hand complete. Unlike many other jobs, once the bells rings for the day, it’s not a matter of stopping what you’re doing and heading home. To ensure tomorrow is a little easier, I stay and finish off what I’m doing for that all satisfying tick off the to-do list.

6pm
Before I head home I look ahead at what tomorrow has in store and plan out my day. Doing this the night before means you can dive straight in to the day’s work and don’t miss any upcoming deadlines.

8pm
My evenings usually consist of a little home cooking, catching up on my favourite TV series and ultimately relaxing before another day in the manic, yet rewarding, world of PR and comms.

One month in…

One month in…

Attending photo shoots, organising event openings, liaising with clients and colleagues alike, contributing ideas to management in team meetings and panic buying BBQ kits from B&Q – my first month at Stripe has been a whirlwind!

There is no typical day at Stripe, and the above are only a handful of the things I have been tasked with during my first six weeks of a three month placement as a Stars and Stripes graduate.

My fear for when I finished University was that I would be resigned to sitting at a desk repeating the same duties day in day out. Or worse still my duties would only extend to making the office tea and coffee. However from the moment I stepped into the Stripe office on my first day I knew that this wasn’t going to be an everyday “9-5” office job.

Starting a new job is never easy, and I have to admit that I was extremely nervous on that first Monday. As a recent Media graduate, I had never worked for a communications agency before and had very little understanding of what my job would entail.

In my role, I’ve been allocated five exciting accounts, each presenting its own unique workload. I have learnt first-hand what different businesses want their products and services to say about them – and the importance of getting it right. First-hand experience trumps text book learning any day!

The office environment at Stripe is fast-paced and lively. There is always a deadline to meet, creative brainstorming sessions to attend and media mail outs to prepare (bubble wrap has become my best friend at times!)

Stripe actively encourages its staff to contribute their individual thoughts and opinions and there is never a dull moment. This keeps me on my toes which makes my role so exciting. In the short time I have been at Stripe, I have learnt how important it is to use my initiative but equally how important it is to ask for help when needed.

As you might have gathered, working for a busy comms agency can be a bit overwhelming at times but without challenges, a job can become boring and where’s the excitement in that?!