A Week in My Life: Jennifer Hakim, Founder and Director of Jennifer Hakim Communications
Jennifer Hakim, Founder and Director of her self-titled PR and Marketing agency on Old Street in Shoreditch, takes us through a week in her working life.
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Mondays usually start in a rush but my New Year’s resolution is to incorporate some slow-living principles into my life. I now wake up a bit earlier and start my day with a 20-minute yoga session. It helps me collect my thoughts and set my intention for the day.
I head to the office around 9am and it’s time for a team meeting. We have a big week ahead, between launch events, meetings with journalists and update calls with clients so we need to be clear on what needs to be done and what our priorities are this week.
I catch up with clients and journalists, proofread some content pieces to be sent to press, then head to a meeting with an Editor to discuss a few ideas for 2019. We catch up on upcoming features focusing on mental health and sustainability, then I offer a few samples from clients for them to try and review. We’re all feeling creative this early on in the year!
I leave the office around 4:15pm with the team as our clients Runa Magnus and Nick Haines are celebrating the launch of their brand new book 'The Story of Boxes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' in Mayfair. This book encourages us to stop stereotyping and putting people in boxes. We’ve been working on this event for weeks and we are so proud to see them up on stage discussing their work during a live interview live-streamed on social media. The journalist then takes questions from the audience and a highly inspiring conversation starts. It moves me to see guests and authors interacting and discussing a better future for humanity.
It was a big day for us as several of our clients were in the same room for this very occasion – most of them live outside London so we usually interact via emails and conference calls. Being with them tonight was truly special.
Tuesday is bit slower, which is much appreciated. After a long yoga session, I head to the office ready for whatever is on the menu. The wheel is in motion and we are on a roll, pitching to our clients and hearing their ideas on how to create positive change. We pick up enquiries, get in touch with clients for comments on relevant topics from balance and resilience to sustainable living before heading over to a team lunch. It’s very important for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and encourage team bonding so we share our New Year’s resolutions and ambitions for the year over some delicious Thai dishes.
In the afternoon I have a few calls with journalists to plan campaigns for our clients, then I put some time aside for admin. I have a million things to catch up on after the end-of-year break, even though I’m fairly organised. I go through my to-do list, from taxes to invoices, then it’s time to plan for our newsletter and blog. We brainstorm topics that will help keep subscribers informed of our clients’ upcoming events and launches. The Ultimate Self-Help Live by Yvette Taylor is coming up, so we align our content to share the good news. We’ll take any occasion to direct people to events, products or content aimed at making them feel good.
I leave the office around 6:30pm to meet a friend and head over to our favourite little cinema to see Mary Poppins. It is the perfect evening, and I’m so grateful we have a couch to ourselves as we share wine and nibbles.
After a bit of cardio, I head to the office with a clear schedule in mind but it's one of these days where all meetings and calls get pushed back. It gives me the opportunity to move forward with a social media campaign we’ve been working on for one of our clients. We’ve done the strategy and content plan so we're now in a position to review it with them and add the final touches.
It ends up being a pretty smooth day. We are finally hearing back from everyone who was on holiday so it’s all about scheduling meetings for the next few weeks. We’re currently planning the London book launch for Chrisoula Sirigou’s The Book of Soulful Musings, which will take place on February 12th at Airspace. We finalise the agenda and think of creative ways to make the evening a little special.
I then spend the rest of the afternoon going through potential partnerships with new clients before heading out for dinner with a friend.
The morning goes in a flash with back to back meetings where every minute counts. It’s all good however as we brainstorm on a social media campaign, get the green light on a project and discuss last’s month press coverage with a client.
In the afternoon we wrap up most of the week’s work in terms of client hours which gives us a bit more time for our own marketing. We are in the process of rebranding so I go over the last two shortlisted names on top of our list and after many considerations, finally pick one. This has been a long process but I feel we are on track for the rebranding I planned for May 2019. I inform our graphic designer of the final choice, send my brief and tick that off my to-do list with pride.
Around 5pm, I start looking at our plan for our podcast which I aim to launch in 2019. I want it to release each Monday morning and inspire people on the verge of burn out. It's for people who want to do something good for the world, encouraging them to get up and just do it – no matter how it turns out. I really believe that people should ignore their worries and move on with their project nonetheless. The trial recordings are now done for the introductions so I finish up the interview questions. It is a lot of work so I’ve decided to take this project slowly, working on it when all client hours are done and time allows it. Launching my own agency has taught me to be patient and persistent at the same time so I take a step by step approach in all things. My life has become an endless to-do list but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I’m a big advocate of journaling so when I get home I project a little bit in my diary and jot down some goals. For me, putting things on paper is the best way to go back and forth and realise how much progress you're making.
The best day of the week - even though I love my job. I expected today to be quiet and wrap up what we’ve worked on this week but I couldn’t be more wrong. I've become the fastest typer of all time, sending dozens of emails per minute (not really). I continually find journalist requests and see so many opportunities for clients. The morning goes before I’ve even noticed. I take a really late lunch and then take a deep dive into our accounting. It’s not my favourite task but it needs to be done.
The rest of the afternoon is filled with client pitches and reporting. When 6pm hits, I realise how fast the day has gone. I take a break and head home before writing a little. I am currently writing a book titled 'The Good Business Book' which I will hopefully get out of my system by the end of Summer 2019. It tells the tale of my burnout. The same burnout that changed everything and kicked me in the butt, leading me to start my own business. It was truly the best thing that ever happened to me, and it made me want to do business with conscious clients - a business where everyone’s mental health is cherished. Mindful business is the future!