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Posted by Helena Jones
22nd February 2019
A day in the life of… A Comms Executive
Comms Executive, Sian was recently placed at Innovate UK by Niche! Earlier this week, we caught 5 minutes with her to find out what a day in the life of looks like for a Communications Executive…
Please briefly describe your job role: what do you do? What are you responsible for?
Working for Innovate UK has been an eye-opening experience, and my role varies day to day. I’m currently coordinating our Diversity and Inclusion PR campaigns which engage with stakeholders. I’m also responsible for publishing a staff-wide media summary a few times a week, working as part of the press office, and offering campaign support to a few of our leads. On any given day I may be straddling the areas of digital, content, campaigns or media, so no two days are the same.
What attracted you to this job?
Innovate really attracted me because I valued their sense of social responsibility: their goal is to help fund and promote smaller businesses and enterprises in the innovation sector that wouldn’t necessarily get the exposure they need to take off. Having worked in the third sector, this was something that really mattered to me. I’ve always had a passion for communications as I work on the side as a freelance film writer, and this role just seemed to fit my skills and passions perfectly! Thanks to the Niche team for their brilliant work in securing me this opportunity.
What do you feel you need to be a good Comms Executive?
Anyone taking on this kind of role will need to have brilliant organisational skills and to not be afraid of autonomy – from day one I’ve been able to take responsibility for managing projects. I’d also say that you’d need to be fully flexible and ready to drop your agenda at a moment’s notice to help with other tasks. Most importantly, it’s essential to be able to write clearly and to take a diplomatic approach when faced with different opinions.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
I was recently asked to give a presentation on social media and press lines to a group of businesswomen in London as part of our Women in Innovation campaign. It was certainly a nerve-wracking experience, but I feel that challenges like that help to show you that you’re capable of more than you sometimes think.
What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?
While I’m a big fan of a to-do list, it doesn’t always account for time spent on a task, so an Eisenhower box to prioritise my time is essential. I can’t emphasise the importance of a good notebook enough, and collaborative online documents such as Google Docs are essential for keeping track of progress across projects. We also spend a lot of time scheduling calls and meetings, but taking 5 minutes to add a few tasks from your workload to your calendar is a brilliant trick to keep you focused and productive.
What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about working in Communications?
Ever wonder how your favourite social media channels rack up so many hits? The teams behind them have a wicked sense of humour!
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in Communications?
Be proactive, be enthusiastic and keep your eyes and ears open. I often feel like working in the public sector is like learning another language, but even those in senior roles aren’t afraid to ask questions, so you can learn from their example. Finally, always give your best to whatever you do – if you take pride in your work, others will value it, too.
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