A Week in My Life: Rachel Besenyei, Head of Growth & Social at BrandContent

Josh Peachey's picture

BrandContent is a multi-award winning independent PR & Content agency based in London, with offices in Oxford and Cardiff. BrandContent is a tightly knit, fully integrated team with specialisms across PR, Content and Social. 

Here, Head of Growth & Social, Rachel Besenyei, shares an insight into a week in her life.

This piece was written just before the UK government called for a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday

Usually I start Mondays with a call with our MD, to set our priorities for the week. This week is a little different as we took the decision late on Sunday to close our offices and ask the team to work from home owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Although I’m used to working from home, I’m conscious that it will be quite a change for the rest of the team so I’m keen to make sure that we do it right.

I want to make sure that the transition is as smooth and mindful as possible, so I write up some of my top tips for working from home to share with the team. For example, implementing a ‘good vibes only’ policy on our shared Slack and WhatsApp channels and making sure that everyone has the right equipment to work comfortably.

In the afternoon I have a work-in-progress call with one of our clients, Loop, who have recently launched a home energy-saving assistant. It’s an exciting time as we’re finally able to shout about the product and start seeing coverage come through.

Tuesday

It’s our first day working from home as a team and I’ve asked everyone to keep their video turned on for our calls so that we can feel a bit more connected. It’s fun to see an insight into everyone’s home lives, and even meet the partners!

This morning I also host a kick-off call with Resources for Autism, an incredible charity we’re doing some pro bono work with. I met the Resources for Autism team at an event organised by Media Trust for International Women’s Day. I was really touched by the stories they shared so it’s very rewarding to be able to work together to get their word out and raise awareness of the work they do. 

The afternoon flies by as I’m working on a proposal deck for a potential new client. The proposal is for a Social campaign which would include lots of message testing. It’s something I’ve done a lot before but it still takes some thought to work out the best way for me to explain my thinking.

Usually I have a Weaving class on Tuesday, but it’s been cancelled this week to support social distancing so my housemates and I have a beer and watch the government press conference together.

Wednesday

I have a discovery call this morning with Next Door. I’m intrigued by the platform’s similarities with Facebook and as there are relatively few brands advertising on there at the moment it feels like it could be a great opportunity for one of our clients. The landscape on Social is constantly changing and I’ve always found that you get the best (and cheapest) cut-through when platforms or features are newest.

Most of the rest of my day is spent working through a few new internal policies. We’re an employee-led organisation so when someone in the team has an idea or wants us to get involved with a new initiative I work with them to make it happen. Today we’re working through the documents for our submission to join the Time to Change movement, working to end mental health discrimination. 

Thursday

In response to last week’s budget we announced that BrandContent would now provide all employees with free, organic sanitary products and that we’d reimburse anyone for the cost of a menstrual cup or reusable tampon applicator. I add a comment and a few tweaks to the blog before it goes live on our website.

In the afternoon I spend some time responding to a request for comment about digital detoxes. Having worked in Social for a few years, I still find it quite difficult to delineate between work/pleasure when I’m scrolling on Facebook or posting tweets on behalf of a client. My job literally requires me to be aware of what’s happening on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but it can feel quite overwhelming to be ‘active’ on all of these platforms all of the time, so I’ve tried a few digital detoxes and read a lot about them in an effort to mitigate the impact on my own mental health.

I write a quick tweet before I finish for the day, celebrating the team’s amazing newsjacking coverage from the afternoon: just 30 minutes after we found out that interest rates had been cut, we landed coverage in the Telegraph and on the BBC for our client Equals. Sometimes we are so busy working that we forget to blow our own trumpet!

Friday

As it’s a Friday and the sun is shining, I have breakfast outside. With lockdown looming, I’ve been making more of an effort to get outside to do weeding and plant seeds & bulbs to make it a nicer space to enjoy. 

I spend most of the day working on slides for my webinar for the Content Marketing Association next week about using Twitter for newsjacking. I’m trying to find examples that people will remember having seen themselves, so that the presentation is as accessible as possible. Newsjacking isn’t a new concept, but lots of brands don’t understand it fully and it definitely isn’t always used to its best effect.

By the end of the day I’ve managed to include Maura from Love Island, #WagathaChristie and even @RealDonaldTrump in the presentation - a sentence I never thought I’d be writing!