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  • 3 Sep 2012

A Day in the Life of Communications Executive Ellie Cook

Ellie: During my time at Retail Assist, I’ve interviewed various members of the team to ask them about their typical day at Retail Assist. Today, the tables are finally being turned and Alex Broxson our Head of Marketing will be interrogating me instead!

Alex: I certainly will – firstly Ellie, you’ve been with Retail Assist over three years now, so tell us about your time here.

Ellie: I started at Retail Assist in May 2009. My initial role was Marketing Coordinator, but in July 2011 I took on responsibility for copywriting and so my role progressed to Communications Executive. Previously we worked with a PR consultant to support us with the PR pieces that were used by the Marketing Department – such as press releases, case studies, thought leadership articles and award entries. The decision was taken to bring this work in-house so I was given responsibility for it. We still work with an external PR Consultant, but they now focus on distributing the pieces that we write in-house to their press contacts.

Alex: You know what’s coming next Ellie – please describe a typical day at work for you at Retail Assist.

Ellie: Typically when I first get into the office I check all of the company’s social media accounts and post updates or respond to any comments on these. Retail Assist are very active on social media and I manage the corporate Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube accounts. We also publish weekly blogs, like this one, so I am always trying to think of new ideas for our next post – whether it be based on an issue facing the Retail Industry that I’ve read about in one of our trade publications, or whether it be approaching somebody within the company and asking whether I can interview them for the blog.

A lot of what I do is focused on interviewing people and subsequently writing up articles based on this. These might be internal interviews; for example working with one of the Retail Assist Board of Directors to come up with ideas for a thought leadership article. Once completed, this is then sent out to the trade press in the hope of generating positive publicity for our business. Or they might be external interviews, e.g. interviewing one of our clients, to either put together a press release announcing a new contract, or write a longer case study based upon the work that we’ve done together.

My role isn’t solely focused on writing however; I am also involved in updating the company websites and intranet. Furthermore the Marketing department is entrusted with organising a number of events. These mainly involve getting our clients together, so I will often be required to research potential venues. Once the event details have been confirmed I will then send out invitations both internally and externally.

Alex: What do you enjoy most about your job…Other than working with such a great team that is?!

Ellie: Haha naturally the team are all lovely but that’s a tough question as there are many aspects of my role that I enjoy… On a day to day basis, I love writing posts for the blog – and I’m not just saying that because this is being posted there – it’s the truth, honest! I am also a bit addicted to updating the Retail Assist Pinterest page. However I have to say that one of the highlights of my time at Retail Assist has been writing award entries with our clients that were shortlisted and subsequently won at industry award ceremonies, such as the Retail Week Technology Awards.

Alex: What aspects of your role do you find most challenging?

Ellie: Well I’ve already mentioned that a lot of what I do hinges around conducting interviews with the right people. It can be difficult to secure time with these people because our clients and everybody here is so busy. Once I do manage to arrange these interviews however, they are always very rewarding.

Alex: Finally, what previous experiences helped prepare you for your role?

Ellie: I initially completed a degree in English at the University of Birmingham, which has helped with the writing aspect of this role. During my time at university, I did some work experience within the Communications Department at a local council, which made me realise that my writing skills could be applied to a marketing role. After university, I got a job within the marketing team of an IT company, which was obviously good experience prior to applying for my first job at Retail Assist. During my time at Retail Assist I have also been lucky enough to complete a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification, which provided me with the theoretical knowledge to support my work experience.

Alex: Ellie will soon be moving on to pastures new, so we are looking for a Communications Executive to join the team. If, after reading this interview, you think you’ve got what it takes, please get in touch. More information about the vacancy, along with an online application form, can be found on our website.

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