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A day in the life of PR Account Manager (and "Queen of Nudging") Carrie Ellis

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Ever wondered what a typical day for a PR Account Manager looks like?

Carrie joined Red Setter back in 2018 as an Account Executive and she’s gone on to become one of their star Account Managers, delivering brilliant client work and being a true team player. To gain furthur insight into the daily trails and tribulations facing account managers working in advertising today, we asked Carrie to let us into her world for a day. 

So, without further ado, here’s a day in the life of ‘midfield general’ Carrie Ellis.

A little about me

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Since joining Red Setter in 2018 I’ve progressed to the role of Account Manager, serving clients around the world. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed! We’ve grown as an agency, worked with more inspiring creative agencies, moved offices, and gained an office dog – Patsy the cockapoo.

We’ve also seen new media platforms springing up, a growth in areas such as experiential design, and, of course, we’ve all been figuring out how to achieve work-life balance through a global pandemic.

In short, it’s been fast-paced with lots to learn! So, what’s my job like day-to-day?

Morning

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Before I start anything, I have to have a coffee. Then, I catch up on emails – from colleagues, clients, journalists, and anything in-between.

Then I check in with my to-do list – some might call me old-fashioned, but I swear by keeping track of my tasks analogue-style, with a pen and notebook. I like to get organised and write down my key priorities for the day (there’s something so satisfying about crossing through tasks when they’re completed).

Once the basics are sorted, we often have a morning catch-up as a team. We share our plans, discuss any challenges and make sure we’re all on top of everything. In my team, we like to do a design quiz to get our brains working – and share any tips on good Netflix shows (I’ve recently been introduced to Bake Squad and I highly recommend). We work very collaboratively so it’s really important that we build a relationship as a team both professionally and personally.

My team (nicknamed around the office ‘Team Sparkle’) brings together a diverse skillset with each of us coming from different backgrounds. I get to work alongside an experienced journalist who has worked with high-level design publications; an Account Director with a background in both editorial and corporate PR, who ensures our campaigns keep their strategic focus; and a brilliant Account Executive who can read upcoming trends and help our clients find a fresh take on the topic of the moment. Between us we can deliver campaigns that really get to the heart of our clients’ expertise and give journalists what they want!

What comes after that depends on the day and what’s going on for our clients, but there are some responsibilities that make up regular staples of my routine, like working with my Account Director on client strategy. This might include assisting her with refining client objectives – making sure we’re putting out the right messages, getting clients where they want to be and refining ownable areas. It’s our job to make sure each client is perceived in the right way and their campaign is set up to achieve their long-term business goals.

I’m also the day-to-day client lead, so I’m on hand to answer any questions or support with things like upcoming project launches. These could be anything from a newly designed retail store for the Warner Brothers Studio Tour to a major rebrand for Cadbury. I’ll work with the client, our Account Executive and Editorial Consultant to create an outreach plan, news release and timeline.

Afternoon

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Today, I’m running a creative ideas session with my team on interesting topics we think our clients could talk about in the media. We like to bring interesting articles we’ve read, research on publications, trends we’ve noticed on social media and discuss how we can make sure these angles reflect our client’s strategy.

From there, our Account Executive and I work together to build these ideas out into pitches. As an editorially-led agency it’s important that our pitches are spot on; that they get journalists excited and showcase our value. Our clients work across the globe (from Amsterdam to New York) so we pitch to a wide range of media, and need to be ‘in the know’ about what’s going on in every corner of the world!

I’ve worked with publications including Fast Company, EasyJet Traveller, Metro and Creative Review – so a real mix. We also work with producers for podcasts, broadcast and event organisers which keeps us busy. Some of my favourite coverage wins for our clients recent have been: a London-based Creative Director discussing her creative career journey on The Futur podcast with Chris Do; a thought piece on why alternative meat needs a new identity in Fast Company by a San-Francisco based Strategy Director and an interview in Metro with a global creative agency founder on turning his passion for graffiti into a multi-million pound company.

Before the day’s over, I’ll also be leading a client status call. We have these every two weeks, and they give us a chance to catch-up with our clients and talk through what we’re working on, discuss any creative ideas, reactions to recent news or talking points, and put a plan in place for the next fortnight.

My role as ‘Queen of Nudging’

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My role is a real mix. It involves lots of talking to clients, catching up and sharing ideas with my team, coming up with creative ideas and thinking strategically. I need to make sure that all of our campaigns are on track, we’re getting what we need from our clients, and delivering what they need! This has branded me ‘Queen of Nudging’ as I like to make sure everything is moving forward.

I’d describe it as being like a football midfielder – running around between different members of the team, helping hit targets and being there for general support. I also have the support of my amazing Account Director who is there to help out, share her knowledge and work with me on anything and everything.

At the end of the day, what I love most about this role is that the hard work I do to balance creative and critical thinking, while juggling lots of tasks at once is really gratifying. It’s ultimately very fulfilling to see my team growing and achieving brilliant coverage, my clients getting where they want to be, and also my own knowledge building.

Header image by Meining Jiang

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