A day in the life of… Assistant PR Manager for VisitScotland
It’s time for a new Day in the Life, which this week comes from Assistant PR Manager for VisitScotland, Juliane Frank. Here’s a run-down of her typical working day.
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Econsultancy: Please describe your job. What do you do?
Juliane Frank: As Assistant PR Manager for Northern Europe, I work with European media to ensure Scotland gets as prominent a place as possible in their coverage, thus inspiring potential visitors to choose Scotland as a holiday destination.
My job is extremely varied – tasks can range from traditional PR to the development and implementation of integrated campaigns, which perform not only from a PR perspective, but also on a social and digital level.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
JF: I sit within the Consumer PR team which is part of Global Brand & Communications, and I report to Marie Coulon who looks after Consumer PR for the whole of Europe.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role and in travel/tourism?
JF: I’d say a digital background is helpful. Before moving into my current role, I worked within the digital marketing team at VisitScotland. This has proven to be very useful at a time when the two fields are becoming more and more intertwined. It is exciting to see the impact an online article with a link to VisitScotland can have on visits to our website right away on Google Analytics.
Then in terms of market knowledge and language skills – knowing my market(s) is vital to my role at VisitScotland. Being a German national myself, I bring valuable insight on consumer behaviour as well as the media landscape of one of our key markets to the team. On territory networking with media is extremely important for our relationships so my colleagues and I travel to our respective markets several times a year.
The world of PR is also very dynamic which means that we have to continuously find new, creative ways to communicate with our key audiences. Scotland as a tourist destination is up against hundreds of other countries – it is up to us, the wider marketing team at VisitScotland, to make sure Scotland is front of mind with potential visitors.
Communications is at the heart of what I do. I communicate with a wide range of people every day, from other teams within the organisation to media representatives and the Scottish industry.
Lastly, passion for the product. This is very easy when the product is as stunning as Scotland!
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
JF: No two days are ever the same in my role. Unusual enquiries can come in at any moment and short reaction times are key when working with media.
A day could involve any or all of the following - responding to media enquiries, brainstorming with the team on creative campaigns for next year’s themed year, adapting press releases, pitching journalists for an upcoming group press trip, identifying top bloggers/influencers to work with on upcoming campaigns, and meeting with colleagues in The Highlands to find the perfect place for a TV crew to film.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
JF: I love being able to promote a product that I care so much about. I fell in love with Scotland during my Erasmus semester and feel very lucky to not only live here now, but also share my passion for the country with media every day.
We always try to respond positively to enquiries and help with requests for press visits as best as we can. However, the sheer number of requests we receive on a daily basis makes it impossible to offer everyone the same level of support. Having to say no to some of them can suck.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
JF: Our main goal is achieving inspirational coverage about Scotland that will make people want to visit. Targets include a certain number of pieces of coverage in A-list media as well as a certain number of pieces of coverage featuring at least one of our key messages.
We contribute to advocacy and positive sentiment in all channels and make sure we get coverage for content that will drive our discovery planning and search strategy. Our activity with influencers and online media is key in that respect and we work closely with our colleagues in SEO. Campaigns like our St Andrew’s Day video have been a great success on social.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
JF: My favourite ‘tool’ is my team. We are a friendly bunch of people with diverse backgrounds and different nationalities. We take the time to reflect on the kind of team we want to be and try out new strategies to become more efficient on a regular basis. Everyone in the team is allowed to call one ad hoc 10 minute meeting every week – the team drop whatever they were doing, come together and brainstorm the problem.
E: How did you get started in marketing, and where might you go from here?
JF: I started as a trainee in PR/marketing at a German last minute tour operator after university and have been loyal to the tourism sector ever since – what could be better than promoting everyone’s favourite time of the year?
E: Which brands do you think are doing digital well?
JF: LEGO are fantastic at creating digital PR campaigns that achieve a great level of awareness and consumer engagement. In tourism, Airbnb’s partnership with The Art Institute of Chicago to recreate Van Gogh’s bedroom and the resulting coverage worldwide has impressed me a lot.
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in marketing?
JF: Embrace change – marketing & PR are evolving at a rapid pace and you have to stay on the ball if you want to keep up with them. This might be challenging at times, but it also ensures that your job never gets boring.
More on VisitScotland:
- How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body
- Three reasons to appreciate VisitScotland's website
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