A day in the life of a Farrer Kane & Co PR Assistant
From daily monitoring of what’s making the headlines and researching the latest trends in the legal sector, to canvassing reactive commentary on breaking news to journalists, life as a PR Assistant at Farrer Kane & Co is varied to say the least! Following our move to a new home on St John Street, Adam Cooper has shared a snapshot of what life is like working in the fast-paced world of PR
When I joined the agency, some of my earliest briefings covered details of my portfolio of five or six clients. Getting on top of these was a great way for me to immediately start to learn about new subject areas and improve my general organisational skills!
Farrer Kane & Co’s supportive culture makes it the best of both worlds – you’re given plenty of opportunities to contribute to the team’s PR support for a range of law, property, and accounting firms, but at the same time, the team closely collaborates to ensure you’re fully supported.
My first few days at the agency were busy, but any concerns from joining a new team were mitigated by a range of teach-ins and support sessions that helped guide me through my introduction to the company, whilst providing an opportunity for me to get to know each of the team on a one-to-one basis.
My day begins with a big decision – choosing which desk space I want to occupy for the day. The beauty of our hotdesking model is that there is plenty of flexibility that allows you to interact with different colleagues each day, perfect for a newbie!
Then, the first task of the day is media monitoring of my allocated national newspaper for the week. This is a great way to start the morning as it allows me to gain some foresight on what we may be speaking to our clients about in the forthcoming days. Scouring a different publication every morning each week has fast-tracked my knowledge of our client base and the issues that matter to them, whilst fine-tuning the way I consume news more generally.
By around 9am, I then get started with the most pressing actions – whether it’s drafting a note to a client to share coverage, or getting started with media outreach, each day can take shape very differently.
One element of working in a PR agency that can seem daunting for many starting out is media outreach but when tasked with phoning a journalist it’s important to remember that the person on the other end of the phone is also human. If you’ve done your homework and ensured your pitch is compelling, adds to what has already been said and provides an angle that will chime with their readers or audience, then they will be happy to listen.
Direct contact is often the best way to succeed when pitching an idea for a by-lined article or comments from one of our clients. Journalists are very busy people, so getting to the point and telling them what you have to offer is the most effective way to be an efficient operator on the phone, and to conquer any nerves!
The team regularly conducts internal client meetings to ensure that everyone is up to speed on their most urgent actions, as well as gaining an understanding as to what kind of work is in the pipeline for the weeks ahead. The first couple of internals naturally feel very fast paced, but it becomes easier to get involved in them as time goes by.
As the clock strikes 1pm, I head out for lunch. The office location means I’m spoilt for choice, with the Leather Lane market less than a 10 minute walk away. Being in Farringdon means you can have your lunch in a relaxing local park such as Spa Fields, or a tourist attraction with a range of nearby shops like St Pauls Cathedral.
Usually, the time after lunch is spent finishing up on any final few calls to journalists, or I tend to focus on any written assignments such as copywriting support for our clients. These can range from by-lined articles discussing carbon neutral buildings on university campuses, to the ramifications of a lower Capital Gains Tax threshold, but the possibilities are truly endless.
Drafting articles or feature pieces requires a significant amount of wider research, as well as some creative thinking to introduce an alternative view of the topic that perhaps hasn’t been mentioned – regularly producing articles and pitches has fast tracked my knowledge of the content I’m working on. As with anything, it’s a skill that you’ll only improve through practice.
Once the day has drawn to a close and everything that’s needed doing is all sorted, I put my notes and laptop in my locker and head for home. Being so close to Farringdon means that I can access the Thameslink route and be home in under an hour.
The great benefit of working with B2B clients – particularly those in professional services and property sectors – is that their industries are often multi-faceted, meaning you get to draw upon a range of topical events to unearth possible media hooks and opportunities. The sheer variety of the work is what intrigued me about a career in public relations, and Farrer Kane & Co has made me feel equally supported and challenged in my new role.