I should probably begin with what a day in the life of an independent PR agency founder IS NOT!
- It is not about glam parties from dawn till dark.
- It is not about giving speeches on TV.
- It is not about reading glossy magazines all day.
- It is not about hanging out with famous people.
- It is not about drinking Prosecco and eating macaroons for breakfast.
- It is not about … and the list should continue for a page or so.
Founding a PR agency is a lot like having a “professional” baby. Soon after birth, it takes all your physical energy, but as it grows older, it feeds on every other type of energy you may have. 🙂 What I should add is that not one day of my life looks like the others. Probably, this is what I love most about my job.
But let’s start from the beginning: my days 5 years ago were a lot different from these days 🙂 . At the beginning I had to be a (1) entrepreneur (for starting the business) / (2) new business seeker (in order to get clients) / (3) legal advisor (in order to draft contracts) / (4) financial advisor (in order to deal with invoices and cash flow) / (5) PR specialist (for my clients)/ (6) driver (in order to deliver news to journalists) / (7) real estate agent (in order to find a headquarter) / and sometimes even (8) cleaning lady (in order to keep my workplace neat) etc.
Over time, the roles have changed as I hired experts to take over, but other tasks occurred giving me with a constant number of things to do. I am now more of a business strategist (for my clients) / coach (for myself and my team) / negotiator (of terms and contracts) / keeping also the first 4 roles.
All these days that do not look the same still begin with the same thing: with an alarm clock that is set on sounds of “crickets” as I really cannot take extra stress from a noisy alarm tunes.
An acute sense of duty and intense curiosity about what’s in the newspapers about my clients make me get up with the smartphone in my hands. I check the news in a hurry, leaving details for later, to be read over a cup of coffee. Social media is also consumed with the same coffee.
Supposing that it’s one of those days with no crisis to manage, I prepare for going to the office and then drive for about half an hour towards The Public Advisors’ headquarters downtown. If crisis occur, no time for preparation, I just leave in a hurry with lots of calls to handle. But let’s forget about crisis for a moment and focus on a calm, normal day.
In the car I usually make some morning calls to clients, colleagues or suppliers. On my way to the agency I stop by the bank and I have a quiet, but pleasant “conversation” with the self-bank machines 🙂
I arrive at the office where my team is usually already in place and everybody is focused on catching up with morning emails. I take a second cup of coffee with lots of milk and start prioritizing. Most of the times, I manage to write my to-do list, on paper, up to point 3, uninterrupted.
This is the moment when all “hell” breaks loose. From important calls – to short online messaging with my team, from solving unexpected situations – to calming spirits in disputes, from negotiating contracts – to issuing invoices, from prolonged meetings – to relaxed agency brainstorms, from managing hundreds of people events – to one-on-one media trainings for top management people, I squeeze them all in 8 to 10 hours a day.
My day usually ends around 8 p.m. when the phone, the email and the instant messaging go quiet again and I ask myself: “Is this really over or is it just the calm before the storm?”
But sometimes, “the storm” arrives and it can take different shapes: it can be a crisis, it can be a pitch, it can be an event or the day before a big event. These days you can even ask me: “How are the nights of an independent PR agency founder?” because I for sure now the answer 🙂
Raluca is the founder of Romanian independent PR agency Public Advisors and has close to 10 years of experience in PR industry. She founded her own agency soon after the economical crisis started and managed, over 5 years, to transform it in one of the most serious and reliable PR consultancies on the Romanian market.
Due to the extensive expertise in very different areas, Raluca and her team worked with a mix of clients with diverse needs and coming from sectors like retail, real estate, fashion, health&beauty, corporate. Among other things, Raluca’s team was responsible for TedX Bucharest 2013 and for communicating and rebranding Romanian state news agency Agerpres.