Hi! My name is Omega Dyson, and I am a recent graduate of Columbia
College Chicago, where I earned my B.A. in Public Relations with a
concentration in graphic/web design. Upon graduation, I wanted to work in a public relations firm that had a creative digital strategy team — and JT was one of the firms on my list. A couple of weeks after graduation, JT hired me on as an Account Assistant. So, this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down…
In my role as a Digital Strategies and Engagement AA, I’m usually working online with social media and websites, but sometimes, I get a glimpse of what the public affairs AA’s do by helping them out from time to time. PR is a fast-paced career, so I’ll try to give you a glimpse into my day, but they are never the same!
8:30 AM – Daily media clips
I, like all other AA’s, start my day with daily media clips at 8:30 a.m. Clips
consist of monitoring recent client mentions in the news within a 24-hour
period. It usually goes fast when you get the hang of what each client is
looking for in the news. My clips include the regular clips that all the AA’s send to the clip master (a person who compiles the master email of all the clips), clips for a crisis client (which can be hectic and stressful, but fun), and clips for the disability issues digest that goes to a subscribed list of people. I’m usually done with my clips by 10 a.m.
10 AM – Scanning social media
The majority of my projects come from the Digital Strategies and Engagement (DSE) team. I get an automated email from Meltwater, our social listening tool, and Airtable, our project tracker, every morning. The Meltwater email sends me alerts on recent stories that I can repurpose for social media content (along with the stories I found earlier while compiling clips). The amount of time I spend on this can be from 30 minutes to two hours, scheduling content through Social Report, our social media management tool.
11 AM – Creating graphic sets
Since I have a background in graphic design, I help the DSE team with
creating Facebook and Twitter headers and post templates for clients.
The sets usually consist of a news graphic to use every time we have a news story to push on social, a feature template to use if we have a personal story we’re going to use, and a call-to-action graphic.
12 PM – Lunch…maybe
If I’m lucky, I eat during the 12 p.m. hour. The JT office is located in River North, surrounded by so many good restaurants like Galleria Market, Tallboy Taco, Mixed Greens, and Cafe Iberico.
12:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Helping out the DSE team / professional development
In the digital world, you have to be able to move fast. When I have “down” time, I like to ask the rest of the DSE team if I can help make their lives easier. It gives me the opportunity to experience more while getting a glimpse into their senior roles! When they don’t have any tasks they need help with, I use this time for professional development. I usually work on trying to get several Google AdWords and Analytics certifications, finding different outlets for my creativity and research blogging/writing ideas.
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Brainstorms/meetings
One of my favorite things that JT does is collaborative brainstorm sessions
with all of the staff. Brainstorm sessions take place in a conference room filled with JT employees, snacks and ideas. I like brainstorming because I can be creative and see an entire campaign unfold in front of me. When we don’t have brainstorms, the DSE team has meetings to plan the next digital move. My favorite meeting so far have been for Heartland Alliance International because I was able to hone in on my advertising skills and creativity to brainstorm a new tagline.
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Winding down
The end of the day is approaching, and I’m trying to wind down from the
busy day. This last hour is when I have to wrap up any graphics sets, any
website tasks, and maybe start on tomorrow’s clips. When I look back on the day and see what I accomplished, I am proud of myself. I pack up and gear myself up for the next day of being an AA.
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