A day in the life of…Sharon Flaherty, Managing Director of content marketing agency BrandContent
Sharon Flaherty is the managing director of independent content marketing agency BrandContent which works with Financial Services and Tech clients globally delivering integrated programmes across Content, Social, PR and Search.
6.30am – My alarm goes off. I check my watch to see how much deep sleep I’ve had. I’m obsessed with the sleep function on my Suunto. Always striving for more sleep, yet to achieve it! I reach for my phone to check the news in case I need to leap out of bed that little bit faster. I also check for client emails and PR coverage that has come in that morning. As we manage integrated programmes across Content, PR, Social and SEO the first thing I check is results. With a 7-year old and other half in toe, it’s then a scramble to get ready for the day and out of the door.
8am-9.30am – I’m lucky to live near our office in the leafy village of Llandaff so I have a short walk to work. Around 100 metres to be exact! I do love my commute! I’m just back from a week’s snowboarding In France but I’m all caught up on my emails at the weekend and up to speed. When I get in to the office, I share the obligatory bag of treats and check in with the team on client programmes to make sure we are on track and have what we call a team ‘scrum’. We have a 15-30 minute morning catch-up where we run through the priorities for the day, if anything has come that’s a little left-field, or there are any challenges we need to solve, we deal with them then and it helps us all focus for the day.
9.30am: I have a new business call with a potential Tech client which focuses on sustainability in investing. It’s an interesting chat and a very topical proposition and we end with a meeting arranged and a proposal to deliver on a thought-leadership programme.
10:30: I grab a train to Paddington with our Senior Account Executive for a monthly meeting with our client The Howard de Walden Estate. A lesser known fact: The Estate is home to over 250 world leading hospitals and clinics in the space of a ¼ of a mile many of them offering pioneering treatments.
We’ve had a new client win since I’ve been away which is always nice news to come back to and we have a few new business proposals to work on, so I get my head around those. I also use the train journey to delve into the analytics of one of our largest content programmes. Our social distribution begins this week so I’m happy to see strong traffic numbers already and the client is equally pleasantly surprised at the early signs.
Tomorrow night, I’m running a Tone of Voice workshop with technology client Showpad in the US via video conference, so I check in on the technical set-up and make sure the session can be recorded. I also run through the agenda and structure of the workshop and draft a few additional questions.
I’m also the Chair of the PRCA so I check in on attendees for an event I’m running with the Agency Doctor about the 5 drivers of business growth for agencies.
And then I’m onto operations. We’re expanding with a new office opening in Oxford next week and then London the month after so there’s a few logistical things to sort.
Back to client work. We’re very data-led at BrandContent and find the best stories are buried deep in the data. We are working through one such data-story for our client Admiral which means spreadsheets and pivot tables galore! But these stories are really worth the investment as they can’t be replicated easily.
I spend my last chunk of time before heading to my meeting reviewing new editorial content ideas for our client FairFX and our 6-week rolling plan. Phew! Train’s arrived. Off to Marylebone we go.
1.30 pm: We arrive for our meeting in Austrian restaurant Fischers in Marylebone to meet some of the businesses operating in the Howard de Walden Estate. We keep close to the tenants of The Howard de Walden Estate so we can collect the best stories coming out of the area. Their lemon meringue pie also went down a treat!
3.30pm: Off to the HQ of the Howard de Walden Estate to sit down for our monthly catch-up where we review activity, learnings, results and what’s coming up. We have a happy client which is always good!
5:30pm: I brave the ‘beast from the east’ back to Paddington. I really should have worn my snow boots! We have a short wait for the train, so we camp up in the warmest place in the station and catch-up on pressing tasks. There may or may not have been a glass of wine thrown in!
7:15pm: Back on the train and I update my to-do-list and use the time to plan my day tomorrow which consists of a workshop, a Q&A session of a video for children who experience cancer, finalising our 6 month roadmap for currency client FairFX, team 121s and our MI pack making sure we’re hitting our monthly business targets.