7.45am: My alarm goes off, I swear and then promptly turn it off and go back to sleep for another 10 minutes. I’m not great in the morning, but it’s Monday, which guarantees a hangover-free day. I get up, shower (“the housemate” is on recess – and lazy – so I’m pretty lax on shower times).
8.15am: I walk into work from Battersea; so stroll through the park, across the river, and through Pimlico – stopping to pick up the papers on the way in and ignoring stares at my blood-specked cheeks, I’m not the most careful when shaving.
8.50am: Arrive. Eat multi-coloured cereal usually reserved for 10 year olds. Read the papers and scan through emails. Outline what I plan to do with the day. Change into a suit (I get eyebrows raised if I continue wearing my shorts and a T-shirt past 10.00 am – they are pink, after all). Exchange pleasantries with colleagues. There are around 15 of us on a good day.
9.30am: My colleague in the policy and external affairs team and I discuss what we find in the papers and see if any of it impacts on the PRCA or any of its members. He gets the more liberal rags, and I take the more right of wing (a hang-on from all the work I did for the Conservatives in parliament and in a constituency).
If there’s a chance for a letter to a national from the chief executive of the PRCA, Francis Ingham, then we scribe one out in time for midday. I monitor the media all day, specifically looking out for anything on a lobbying register, evaluation in PR, the PR industry, growth in different sectors (the PRCA loves to talk about PR bucking the national growth trend and continuing to grow), and many other topics.
10.00am: The rest of the morning is spent writing releases, blog posts, comments and letters to members, as well as talking to people, while fending off ideas from Francis so I can get on with my work. This including the trade press, members, and organisations we partner with.
12.45pm: Monday strategy lunch with Francis. Usually a good start to the week and a chance to break the hastily made “never, ever drinking again” rule in good time. Leave the restaurant with a napkin covered in scribbles titled “to implement”, should I be able to re-read my own handwriting.
2.00pm: Back to the office near Victoria, so always within arms length of somewhere good to eat, and settle in to work on one of the larger projects we have. I’m working on one on evaluation, and one on ethics in PR and public affairs. A bit of a steep learning curve, but the AMEC guys are great to work with, and the ethics paper is still at its early stages. These are two PR council initiatives due to come out later this year. I get other written tasks on an as-and-when basis from colleagues – I prioritise accordingly.
6.30pm: I’ve an evening drinks/work meeting with a friend/contact. I know what he’s like, so I arrive having eaten already and carrying cigarettes to ply him with. I usually try to meet someone on a Monday to get material to work with during the week. Tonight we are at Cerviche in Soho. Someone recommended it and said the drinks are pretty good.
8.30pm: Leave the bar and go to meet Francis again. We normally box with each other on a Monday evening, so we start this at about 9.00pm. I don’t want to show him up, so we wear T-shirts and shorts (of course).
11.00pm: Finish up with a drink, then I make my way home and to bed. Try to fit in some reading when I get back. At the moment it’s Memoirs of a Radical Tory by Nigel Lawson (I know, I know), and Americana by Don Delillo. Sleep.