A Day in the Life of an AA: Kelsey

My name is Kelsey and I am one of the Public Affairs Account Assistants at JT!

I graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication and Writing Certificate. I’m originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, but I have always looked forward to calling the Windy City home.

Before joining JT, I worked in public affairs for Advocate Health Care. I also did a lot of community affairs work for the Iowa City Community School District while in school. I love working with organizations within the education and healthcare sectors, which is why I enjoy a lot of the work we do here at JT.

Shamelessly, I am a full-time pizza connoisseur and member of the Grammar Police with too many pairs of Converse. Outside of work, I like to run, work on puzzles and pretend like my dog can understand the conversation I’m having with him.

Every day at JT is different, which is what makes the job great, but here is an example of a day in the life of an AA…

8:00 AM Clips. I collect and send out daily news clips for multiple clients, including Skills for Chicagoland’s Future. This includes monitoring the news using specific search terms to compile media coverage on our clients. I also send out daily news clips and a social media activity report to our friends at BP.

9:00 AM Brainstorm. When somebody at JT needs help, we all put our brains together. For Sinai’s National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month campaign, the digital team needed help creating a hashtag, so the whole staff met to get ideas flowing. These types of brainstorms are typical at JT and they are very helpful because it creates an open discussion to generate ideas for the client.

9:45 AM More coffee, please! We have a wide coffee selection in the kitchen, and I’m usually on my third cup by this hour.

10:00 AM Curiosity Conversation. Once a week, we meet with Jessica, the VP of Business Strategies, for a discussion. During these informal sessions, every AA shares current interests, observations or something new they have learned. JT wants to know what interests, challenges, worries and inspires millennials, and we find these conversations encourage us to be mindful of our experiences and interactions with the world. Every week the conversation is facilitated by a different AA. And sometimes we have snacks. 🙂

11:00 AM Blessings in a Backpack. An ongoing AA project this summer is outreach for a client event coming up in September, called National Blessings in a Backpack Day. With over 900 cities and mayors to contact, the AAs divide and conquer. Our job is to invite mayors across the country to help stuff backpacks with food for kids who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend. We facilitate the contact between the mayor’s office and their local program coordinator to make the event happen.

12:30 PM Lunch at the park with my fellow AAs, where you can probably find us talking about where we’re going to dinner and/or happy hour next.

1:00 PM Front desk duty. Twice a week, each AA is required to cover the front desk to relieve our lovely receptionist, DeArthur. During this time, we man the phone, welcome visitors and clients to our office and have a chance to catch up on the news.

2:00 PM AA Discussion. We have a monthly series of discussions where senior members of the JT team host one-hour learning sessions that cover an aspect of work done at the firm. In this session, Colleen Mastony discussed her role and answered our questions about media relations and strategies.

3:00 PM Team Meeting. Every week, I meet with my team (James, Emily, Jordan, and Claire) in order to keep each other up to date on what we are working on. These weekly meetings are helpful if you are swamped with work to ask for help, or if you have a light week so you can offer to help somebody else out.

3:30 PM Briefing. JT has the opportunity to put on a number of events. When our events team is in need, the AAs step up to help out and work some overtime. For this particular event, Kartemquin Films is hosting their 50th Anniversary Gala on the Harris Theater Rooftop in Millennium Park. At this event briefing, we met with Karla and Lauren to go over the “Event Bible” and talk about the expectations for Friday night.

4:00 PM Wrap up. Unless we are working on a time-sensitive project, I usually take the last 30 minutes of my day to go over my checklist for the day. I make sure I have done everything on my to do list, log my activity for the day and then check with James to see if he needs help with anything else. I also scan the media one last time for client news to see if I find anything worth sharing with my team.

4:30 PM Peace out, JT.

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