Posted At: January 1, 2008 9:41 AM
by Betsy Beam
Managing multiple accounts in a public relations agency can prove to be a heavy load, but with efficient time management skills and “to-do” lists, two account executives from New York City make it happen every day.
Allison Matthews works as an account executive for Ketchum, which ranks among the largest global public relations agencies and operates in more than 50 countries. After a year of managing both the Kodak™ and Geek Squad™ accounts, Matthews shares valuable advice on how to juggle more than one account.
With each account comes different responsibilities. Acting as the client contact to Kodak Gallery, Matthews updates Kodak on media placements, works on future products and suggests publications they should be targeted toward. Daily tasks include scanning news for Kodak and competitor coverage, informing Kodak’s media team about any new Gallery products and updating client coverage that has appeared or coverage that is scheduled to appear. She also helps with urgent requests such as the crisis with the San Diego wildfires. “The Gallery is based out of San Francisco,” Matthews said. “So when the San Diego wildfires broke out, the Gallery wanted to help the victims. I pulled together some recommendations and how they should approach the media with their work.”
With Geek Squad, Matthews pitches to the Boston market’s short lead newspapers and broadcast outlets while also helping with events like Geek Squad’s holiday program. In addition, she follows up with reporters and coordinates interviews between reporters and Geek Squad agents. “When a member of the media calls me about a pitch I sent out, that moves to the top of my ‘to do’ list. You have to make the media feel like they are the only project on your plate,” Matthews said. One of her most recent hits appeared in the Boston Globe. The story covered how the NBC TV show “Chuck” is similar to the Geek Squad.
With each account requiring equal attention, one might think it would be hard to keep up with every task on a daily basis. Matthews says the key is making a “to- do” list. She says once everything is written out and she can see it visually, it is easier to decide what activities take priority. Also, asking for help from managers is important. “No one can do everything on their own and you need to raise a red flag sooner rather than later,” says Matthews.
But the hard work does pay off. Matthews says, “It’s amazing to be in line at the supermarket, open up a magazine and see my client’s name in an article.”
E-mail: Allison Matthews
What skills do you think are the most important when trying to juggle multiple accounts?