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Day in the life of an in-house PR journalist

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As a writer, I’ve always loved a new challenge, and when I joined Red Setter in 2019 as an Editorial Consultant that’s exactly what I got. Though I’d dabbled in branded content and digital marketing as a freelancer, this was my first job in PR – and I quickly found it not only suited my writing skills perfectly, but gave me a whole new perspective on the impact of storytelling.

I won’t go too deep into what it’s like to transition from journalist to PR, because my colleague Anna has done a brilliant job of that [here]. But I will say this: I feel really lucky to have found a PR job at a company that values editorial expertise and creativity the way Red Setter does. Every day really does tell a fascinating new story – and what writer could resist that?

Since I joined Red Setter, I’ve used my passion for creativity, culture, and compelling stories to help top design and brand agencies in London, New York, and San Francisco lead the conversation around design, brand, and business on the global stage. Every day is different, but to give you a taste of what it’s like to work on the editorial team at Red Setter, here’s what a day in the life looks like for me…

Using my inside knowledge

I like to kick off the day by checking in on the news and seeing what some of my favourite publications are saying about brand, design, and business. You’ll usually find me nursing a coffee and scrolling through Bloomberg, Fast Company, and Vogue Business, looking for stories and themes that intersect with what my clients are working on at the minute.

Then I’ll usually check in with my team. Sometimes this happens over Zoom, since I often work from home, but I also like to head into our Brighton office when I can and feed off the energy of in-person collaboration.

We might have a brainstorm about how we can PR our clients’ newest projects – maybe Team’s amazing work rebranding The Bronx Museum of the Arts, or This Way Up’s tongue-in-cheek design for an exciting new project launch for a famous FMCG brand. In these meetings, it’s my job to offer insight based on my experience as a journalist. This side of the job is really satisfying – using my inside knowledge to avoid creating the cringy PR pitches I used to get when I was a commissioning editor feels so good!

Diving in deep

After that, I might spend some time developing questions I want to ask a new client. At Red Setter, we’re really dedicated to diving deep into our clients’ work and world so we can develop a unique PR strategy for them, and I play a big part in that. It’s my job to look after the editorial strategy for our clients – in other words, to distill and articulate their exciting thoughts into interesting, thought-provoking article ideas that the media will want to run. So, it’s important that ahead of our first call with them, I’ve done some deep research and identified what I think will be most interesting and attractive about them.

Then, I’ll get to hold some in-depth interviews with the client agency’s directors to find out more about their ideas. I love this part of the job – getting an inside look into my clients’ approach to creativity and problem-solving is so eye-opening, and there’s always some exciting surprise that I can’t wait to formulate into an article pitch for journalists.

After lunch, I’ll probably catch up with a long-standing client about a new idea we can workshop for the media. Stu Watson, co-founder and ECD at Studio Nomad, always has something really interesting on his mind, and today we’re getting into the weeds on why brands should learn to embrace when people hate them. It’s a fun, irreverent topic and he makes a lot of good points, so you can bet my mind is already brewing about the article I’ll help Stu craft to make the case for loving hate.

Writing it all down

My afternoons are reserved for writing – and I love the range of projects I’m always juggling. Whether it’s writing up an in-depth case study about a client’s most interesting hero project (I’ll never get bored of talking about Trollbäck+Company’s work on the UN’s Global Goals), developing an opinion piece based on a client’s biggest pet peeves about branding (can we all agree that we’re over greenwashing?), or sitting down to draft a piece for the Red Setter blog, just like this – there’s always something new and fascinating to learn and reflect on.

I’ll probably do some editing during this time too – my team and my clients count on my editorial expertise to help them polish up content before sharing it with journalists. I’ve always loved the editing side of writing – it’s really exciting to add the final sparkle to a piece before it goes out into the world.

No writer is an island

I like to end my days by checking in with my team – it’s nice to take a moment to congratulate each other on another day well done.

The team at Red Setter really is one of the best things about this job. Over the past three years I’ve gotten to work with some amazing people who have become my friends – and it’s a special kind of bonus that not all of my teammates are writers. I think writing, as a job, can often be lonely, and having a team made up of members with different expertise can feel a lot more community-based than a lot of writing jobs I’ve had in past. It means that I know what I bring to the table, but also that I have a lot of new skills and new ways of working I can learn from my colleagues, and that sense of collaboration is really gratifying.

While I love working with my team members who specialise in other disciplines within PR (like campaign strategy, social media, and client servicing) I do also love that I have the support of other writers at the company. Whilst we’re all the editorial experts on our individual teams, we can look to each other for help, advice, and ideas.

At Red Setter, writers get the best of both worlds: lots of time to follow the most interesting ideas, and lots of opportunities to collaborate. For me, that balance is the best way to manage my creativity – and if it sounds like a good fit for you, too, we’d love to talk about opportunities to join our editorial team!

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