A Day in the Life of an AA: Jordan M.

Hi, I’m Jordan, a Public Affairs Account Assistant at JT! Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, I currently call Elmhurst home, though I love catching the train into the city for some adventuring.

I graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Public Relations and Advertising and have since worked in public affairs, digital communications and video production for several agencies and nonprofit organizations. I enjoy working at the intersection of thoughtful storytelling and meaningful advocacy – one of the many reasons why I enjoy coming to work at JT every day.

My role as an AA is always different, but usually revolves quite a bit around writing and research. No matter which project or client I’m working on, I’m always learning something new. Here’s a glimpse of what I mean:

8:30 AM – Time for clips

This is the best opportunity to learn what’s going on in the city, in the state, in the world even. The AA team sends out clips to JT team members and clients daily in order to help monitor what is new in the news. But it also helps us keep tabs on who’s running for an Illinois office or which festivals are happening throughout Chicago this week.

10:00 AM -Brainstorm session

Snacks are plentiful at these meetings. It’s here that the whole team sits down and thinks up creative methods for elevating a client’s profile or gaining media exposure.

10:30 AM: Media planning regroup

Next, my team meets to go over media outreach for our client The Chicago Community Trust and the launch of the their annual On the Table initiative, next week. We’ve already sent a round of pitch emails to the main Chicago outlets – now, it’s time to determine who we’re following up with, and how.

11:00 AM – Follow up calls and pitch emails

Once decisions have been made about media follow-up, it’s time to start making calls and sending emails. Some newsrooms may not know if they’re covering your event until the day of. Some may need you to resend a press release. With journalists often getting hundreds of emails every day, checking in with individual news teams helps your client and their message stay top of mind. And it allows you to build relationships with different reporters!

12:30 PM – Front desk duty

AAs take turns covering the front desk over the lunch hour. Here, we greet guests, answer the main office phone line and receive any packages that may arrive. It’s also a nice way to catch up with fellow JT’ers as they’re coming and going for lunch or a meeting.

1:00 PM – Lunch time

It’s no secret that there’s an abundance of fast food gems in River North – Portillo’s and Jet’s Pizza, to name a few. But whether you bring or buy your lunch for the day, there’s always snacks floating around the office (doughnuts, chips and guac, you name it). In short, you’ll never go hungry here.

1:30 – Newsletter research

For another one of our clients, we’re developing a newsletter targeting state and federal lawmakers to help build awareness about the life sciences community in Illinois. Here’s where the writing and research comes in. For the feature I’m currently working on, a small biotech company has developed a treatment for Celiac Disease, which has recently been fast-tracked by the FDA. I’m tasked with writing an article highlighting this treatment and the impact it will have on patients around the world. Thankfully, I’ve already done my research and interviewed the company’s founder to better understand this complex topic, so now all I have to do is tell the story in a compelling way so that local, state and federal legislators will take notice.

3:00 PM – Special Olympics interview

Special Olympics turns 50 this year! They were founded in Chicago all those years ago and are one of the clients I enjoy working on the most. To celebrate their anniversary, JT has been collecting stories from Special Olympics athletes throughout the Chicago area. We hope to share these stories in several ways leading up to the 50th Anniversary event at Soldier Field this summer. But in the meantime, I get the privilege of interviewing some truly inspiring athletes and their families.

4:00 PM – Final Friday

One Friday a month, we end our work an hour or two early and kick it as a team with snacks and drinks. This Final Friday coincides with March Madness. Read: Watching basketball in the conference room and eating wings. Go Blers, by the way. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to close out the week.

And with that, I’ll be heading home for the evening. No two days look alike at JT, but that’s the part of public affairs that keeps things fresh and exciting. Thanks for accompanying me through my work day!