PR at the four corners of the UK

A day in the lives of four in-house public relations professionals from the edges of the UK contains schoolchildren, vodcasts, mountains and sushi


Maurica Lavery, communications & marketing manager, The National Trust, Northern Ireland

8.30am Quick sift through emails and outstanding calls. Coffee.

9am Meet Christine Rodgers, my communications & production officer. We are working on the launch of new facilities on Divis and the Black Mountain, the backdrop to the Belfast skyline. Communications planning focuses on the 2,000 acres of open space access and the launch of the first newstyle ‘Changing Places' disabled toilet to open on a mountain.

10am-1pm Meet the architect and project director who are planning the rebuilding of the visitor facilities at Giant's Causeway. As a World Heritage Site and Northern Ireland's most popular tourism asset, this is a huge project for us and I am included in all operational meetings. We discuss the recent planning approval and how I will develop this story with local and construction media. I also need to make sure government ministers, departmental officials, the Heritage Lottery Fund, councils and local councillors are kept in the loop, as well as foreign media.

1.30pm Lunch. Discuss with colleagues this week's murders of soldiers and a policeman. If this continues, the impact on Northern Ireland could be very serious. We all agree this is a place none of us wants to go back to.

2-3.30pm Catch up with our regional external affairs team on communications planning for ‘Food', one of our national campaigns. Nationally we recently provided 1,000 allotments to the public; in Northern Ireland there is already a waiting list. 3.30-4.30pm I am supporting the Sky National Arts Partnership - involving two Belfast schools working with us. They have produced a fabulous DVD.

4.30-5.30pm Mop up calls, emails, urgent enquiries and size up tomorrow.

The National Trust, Northern Ireland (a team of two) won the gold award for best in-house team at the 2008 CIPR Northern Ireland PRide awards


Shelly Bennett, press & PR manager, Brighton Dome & Festival

9am Check media coverage. It's been a hectic few weeks since we announced the Brighton Festival line-up for May. The programme has had an incredibly positive response, both to the new format and to the involvement of Anish Kapoor as our guest artistic director for 2009. So I'm delighted that The Guardian has covered our programme launch for the first time with pieces in the news section and G2. Rupert Christiansen's blog for The Daily Telegraph says ‘British arts festivals be will be hard pushed to match Brighton's astonishing pizzazz' - which has made my day.

10am-1pm Filming. I spend three hours filming vodcasts for the Brighton Festival website with Fat Sand, a brilliant local company. We interviewed three people: Hilary Cooke, who programmes 26 Letters - a children's literature festival within the main Brighton Festival; Gill Kay, classical music programmer, and our chief executive Andrew Comben, who both programmed the theatre and outdoor events for this year. It was interesting to hear them all talk about how they select and programme events and a few interesting behind-thescenes stories. I'm confident they'll make for fascinating sound bites on the website and it's great to be using the web as a way to communicate more about particular events.

1-6pm A quick conversation with The Times to discuss planned and potential features is followed by a longer one with The Argus to finalise a day for our speed datingtype event. We're arranging for their arts writers to meet our programmers so they can get an in-depth understanding of the programme.

6-7pm I develop my plans for the ‘Unveiling' event on 1 May where we will reveal the new Anish Kapoor Brighton Festival commission called Dismemberment of Jeanne d'Arc. I'm drawing up a list of journalists to invite and getting quotes for catering.

7-9pm Magazine party. Time to head across to a local sushi bar for the relaunch of a local magazine. I'm ready for a glass of wine.


Julia Gault, global corporate comms manager, Subsea 7, an engineering and construction company servicing the oil and gas industry

6.45am It's an early start when there is an announcement to be issued to coincide with the opening of the Oslo Bors Norwegian Stock Exchange at 8.15am. Once I post the announcement to the market, I distribute it to the media, employees and upload it on to the company website and intranet.

8am Part of my role entails liaison with regional PR managers from across our global offices, providing input and guidance on their marketing and communications activities. So, it's time to check emails and voicemails and catch up on the status of various projects. I deal with any urgent requests such as copy deadlines and schedule time in the diary to deal with anything new. With offices in Africa, Brazil, Norway, North America and Asia Pacific, messages can arrive at all hours during the day and night.

10am I am part of the Global Emergency Response Media Management Team. We meet to discuss the set-up and requirements for the new media response room and hold a session on the new crisis management software being implemented.

12pm Lunch. I join members of the department for a bite to eat followed by a brisk walk.

2pm I am project managing our participation at the Offshore Technology Conference, a major global oil & gas industry trade fair that takes place in Houston in May. I contact industry publications to suggest some feature opportunities. As the working day starts in Houston, I catch up with a colleague there on various aspects of the event, call the company constructing our exhibition stand and contact the show organisers with a few queries. I discuss the promotional materials required with our in-house creative team.

4.30pm Leave the office. During the evening at home, I deal with a few emails from our Houston office.


Mark Bayley, communications and marketing manager for 1st East, the urban regeneration company for Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth

8am My day normally starts with a bike commute to the station in Norwich, followed by a half-hour train journey to Great Yarmouth to our main office, in the heart of one of our regeneration areas.

9am A quick scan of emails. Note what needs to be done today and fire some back, followed by a look at the daily report from our online news monitoring service, which comes up with several hits.

10am Meet with our chief executive and director of development to go through the latest version of our business plan and budget setting for next year. A few revisions to the communications and marketing plan, but the budget is confirmed.

11.30am Breaking news that a ministerial announcement we have been waiting for on the relocation of a new government agency, potentially bringing jobs to the area, is due today. Check over the prepared statements for whichever eventuality emerges, good or bad.

12pm Over to Great Yarmouth College for the launch of our joint enterprise/regeneration project involving local high schools and sixth forms. The students are looking at the regeneration plans for both towns and how they think they will affect their future. Really impressed with their enthusiasm and insight and enjoy working with them. Nice buffet lunch - better than the normal ‘sandwich at the desk'.

2pm Get a call that the ministerial announcement has been made - bad news, the new government agency is heading up north. Back to the office to contact local journalists and issue our prepared statement. Feeling a bit low as we had put a lot of effort into co-ordinating the evaluation visit, pulling together presentations, a web portal and printed prospectus in a very short timescale.

3pm More emails, then update our website with the latest news and respond to some comments from members of the public on the regeneration plans. Begin work on my presentation of the communications and marketing plan for next week's board meeting.

4pm Talk to our agency, TMS Media, about the restructuring of our customer relationship management system. It needs simplifying.

5pm Head for the station for the commute home; it's raining - wish I had driven in today instead.

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